A court in the French city of Bordeaux ordered the President of Gabon, Omar Bongo Ondiba, to compensate the son of a French citizen, René Cardona, who was jailed in Gabon in 1996. The court found Mr Bongo guilty of official corruption. The court portrayed Mr Cardona as an “accomplice of President Bongo and his family in arms and fishing equipment firm” when a judicial inquiry that led to his jailing in Libreville was launched.

Citizens in the African state of Gabon have begun voting in parliamentary elections with Omar Bongo, the current president, looking to maintain his hold on power. Voting got under way slowly across the former French colony, with many of the largely Christian population preferring to attend mass before going to vote.

Gabon's main opposition leader says he has gone into hiding after government forces raided his party's headquarters. Pierre Mamboundou told the BBC that he was not about to leave the country, but said he was also considering seeking political asylum. He finished second in last November's presidential election, which he claimed was fraudulent. President Omar Bongo, Africa's longest-serving head of state, won with 79.2% of the vote. Mr Mamboundou told the BBC's French service that police more

The final results from Gabon's presidential vote are expected on Tuesday, election officials said. Gabon's public television and two private channels reported results from several cities and departments that showed, as expected, that President Omar Bongo would defeat his four challengers, reports the Mail and Guardian. The 69-year-old Bongo, the longest-serving African leader, was supported by a political coalition of more than 40 parties and has maintained an iron grip on the media.

Some women take the decision because they cannot contemplate supporting another child. Others are too young to take care of even one. Whatever their reasons, a growing number of Gabonese girls and women are choosing to have illegal abortions – often with disastrous consequences. According to statistics from the Ministry of Health, clandestine abortions are thought to have accounted for 28.8 percent of all abortions that took place last year – up from 25 percent in 2003, and 16 percent in more