Gabon registered its first COVID-19 cases in March and Parliament declared a state of emergency in early April. On 10 April, the government announced that the capital, Libreville, as well as neighbouring municipalities, would impose lockdown measures. On 3 May, UNICEF reported while Libreville remained the main hotspot. As of 14 December, Gabon had recorded 9,330 COVID-19 cases and 63 deaths.
According to UNHCR, as of 30 November 2020, there were 479 refugees and 84 asylum seekers in the country. In addition, UNHCR stated that only three countries in West and Central Africa (Gabon, Nigeria and Niger) suspended access to asylum registration and most states in the region also closed their borders.
During Gabon’s review at the 2017 UN Universal Periodic Review, Congo, Egypt, and Sierra Leone recommended that Gabon “ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.” Burundi recommended that Gabon “make efforts to accelerate the process of ratification of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.”
As regards the country’s prisons, on 10 April, the president granted official pardons to 680 prisoners in order to alleviate overcrowding and reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. The GDP has been unable to establish the extent to which detention facilities are used in Gabon as part of immigration enforcement procedure or to obtain details on COVID-19 related measures taken to safeguard people in immigration custody.
- WHO, “L’OMS Mobilise 41 Experts en Appui à la Riposte Contre La COVID-19 Au Gabon,” 29 June 2020, https://www.afro.who.int/fr/news/loms-mobilise-41-experts-en-appui-la-riposte-contre-la-covid-19-au-gabon
- GARDA, “Gabon: Authorities to Ease COVID-19 Restrictions and Reduce Curfew from October 20 /update 11,” 20 October 2020, https://www.garda.com/fr/crisis24/alertes-de-securite/391071/gabon-authorities-to-ease-covid-19-restrictions-and-reduce-curfew-from-october-20-update-11
- UNHCR, “UNHCR West & Central Africa – Impact of COVID-19 on Protection, as of 5 May 2020” 13 May 2020, https://reliefweb.int/report/world/unhcr-west-central-africa-impact-covid-19-protection-5-may-2020
- G. O. Nzuey, “État d’Urgence: Le Sénat Donne Son Quitus à Ali Bongo,” Gabon Review, 8 April 2020, https://www.gabonreview.com/etat-durgence-le-senat-donne-son-quitus-a-ali-bongo/
- M. Cheylan, “Coronavirus et Afrique – au Gabon, Une Réaction Rapide et Progressive,” Institut Montaigne, 14 April 2020, https://www.institutmontaigne.org/blog/coronavirus-et-afrique-au-gabon-une-reaction-rapide-et-progressive
- UNHCR, “Refugee Data Finder: Gabon,” accessed on 15 December 2020, https://www.unhcr.org/refugee-statistics/download/?url=h27VBE
- UNHCR, “Operational Portal: Refugee Situations: Gabon,” accessed on 15 December 2020, https://data2.unhcr.org/en/country/gab
- WorldoMeter, “COVID-19 CoronavirusPandemic,” accessed on 14 December 2020, https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
- UNICEF, “GABON COVID-19 Situation Report – #02,” May 2020, https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/UNICEF%20GABON%20COVID19%20CO%20Situation%20Report%20No%2002%2015-30%20April%202020.pdf
- Human Rights Council, “Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Gabon,” A/HRC/37/6, 29 December 2017, https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G17/370/31/PDF/G1737031.pdf?OpenElement
- Gabon Actu, “COVID-19: 680 Prisonniers Graciés au Gabon,” 10 April 2020, https://gabonactu.com/covid-19-680-prisonniers-gracies-au-gabon/
- People Waiting for a Drinkable Water Delivery in Libreville, Gabon, (France 24, A. Saint-Léger & C. Caracena, “Covid-19: Au Gabon, Le Casse-Tête de l’Accès à l’Eau à Libreville,” 30 April 2020, https://www.france24.com/fr/afrique/20200430-covid-19-au-gabon-le-casse-t%C3%AAte-de-l-acc%C3%A8s-%C3%A0-l-eau-%C3%A0-libreville)