President Bongo took over upon his father Omar’s death in 2009 and has made saving Gabon’s unique wildlife, including its pristine equatorial rainforest and elephants, a priority. [Emma Farge/Reuters]
Gabon’s government has vowed to find and punish those responsible for the disappearance of more than 350 containers of protected hardwood worth nearly $250m.
In late February and early March, the authorities uncovered and seized 392 containers with 5,000 cubic metres of illegally felled kevazingo wood in the port of Owendo.
By the end of April, 353 of those containers had disappeared.
“This case is extremely serious. It requires the greatest severity in response,” the administration of President Ali Bongo said in a statement. “There must be no weakness, no impunity, no special favour,