The Gabonese Opposition Diaspora in France: A Political Mobilisation in the Context of the 2016 Post-electoral Crisis Etudes de l'Ifri, October 2020
The Gabonese opposition diaspora in France has become politically influential. Diasporic actors criticize the Ali Bongo regime and the weak organisation of the Gabonese opposition. They could change the political destiny of the country.
The Gabonese opposition diaspora in France has become a stakeholder of the post-electoral crisis since 2016. While the politicization of the diaspora – driven by a restricted political and civic space in Gabon – has varied since Independence, there has been an unprecedented mobilization in France since the presidential election of 2016. Since 2009, mushrooming diasporic associations and the organization of numerous debates within the anti-Bongo regime diaspora have resonated with national politics in Gabon, while the pro-regime structures have become weaker.
From 2016 onwards, the diasporic opposition mobilization has become more organized and visible through the creation and use of hybrid and innovative forms of contestation influenced by cultural Gabonese practices, by non-violent methods of protest and persuasion and by modern means of communication. The transnational diaspora has increased its interaction with the civil society in Gabon, spearheading local mobilizations against the lethargic and inefficient political opposition.
Even though the efforts and effects of the diasporic movement are diverse, its impact translates, as of now, more into mediatic attention rather than into concrete political outcomes. Nevertheless, this laboratory of diasporic contestation seems to contribute to a renewal of the political class and to feed into the political path of Gabon.