The defense encompasses (2009) 4,700 men enlisted and is organized into 9 companies, 9 patrol vessels, 1 landing craft, 14 fighter aircraft and 5 armed helicopters. Semi-military security forces amount to 42,000 men. The material is of Western origin. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that GAB stands for Gabon.
Defense costs decreased in 1985–2007 from 1.8% to 1.5% of GDP. France has an amphibious battalion of 600 men stationed in Gabon. The UN peacekeeping efforts consist of observers from the Central African Republic and Sudan.
Libreville, the capital of the central African state of Gabon; approximately 797,000 (2012), which is over 40% of the population in the country. The city’s port has timber and agricultural products (cocoa, rubber and palm oil), but a lot of traffic is now over the deep water port Owendo 15 km SE of Libreville, which is the terminus of the Transgabonese railway. After a modernization in the 1970’s, the city has a certain European feel. There was also an expansion of the industry, and there is a timber and food industry as well as a shipyard. Libreville is, however, first and foremost Gabon’s political, administrative and economic center. with a substantial French minority and offices for the country’s many foreign companies. The city also houses the University of Gabon.
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The French built a fort on the site in 1843, and in 1849 a settlement of freed slaves as well as a number of villages in the area was named Libreville. The city has been the capital of French Congo, French Equatorial Africa and from 1960 in Gabon.
Two years after the granting of autonomy by France, which had colonized the country in 1903, Gabon was proclaimed an independent republic on 17 August 1960. Unlike neighboring states, such as the Central African Republic, Chad and the Republic of the Congo, they all did
part of French equatorial Africa and which gained independence in the same year, Gabon subsequently experienced fifty years of relative tranquility and can still be considered one of the most stable states in the region. In 1990, after thirty years of one-party government, the country adopted a multi-party political system and in 1991 it approved a constitutional reform that provides for the adoption of a presidential system with the election of the head of state by universal suffrage. Omar Bongo Ondimba, who succeeded Léon Mba, the president of independence in 1967, is remembered worldwide as one of the longest-serving heads of state. In 2009, his son Ali Bongo Ondimba took over and his election and the indignation of the local population sparked violent protests against the ruling clan. However, the unconditional support of the armed forces and the French cover remain a guarantee of resistance for the government. On the international level, since independence Gabon has maintained solid relations with France, which is still its largest trading partner today. In Libreville, Paris can also have an important military base where 775 soldiers are quartered: the presence – not always only symbolic – of the French army has helped to maintain the status quo in the country. Relations with the United States are good, also thanks to the trade agreements for the export of oil, despite the fact that, starting from 2012, the main Gabonese energy partner has become Japan. Gabon is currently trying to attract investment from Asian countries and in particular from China. On the regional level, the diplomatic situation is more delicate. Relations between Gabon and Equatorial Guinea have been soured due to a territorial dispute over the surrounding waters
in Mbane, Conga and Cocotiers, and in Corisco Bay, where significant quantities of oil are believed to be found. With a per capita GDP of over $ 20,612, the Gabonese economy is one of the most prosperous in the entire African continent. The country’s growth goes through the extraction and refining of oil, both off-shore and on-shore, near Port-Gentil, the area where the only national refinery was built in 1967 and which now, thanks to a new investment plan by China, will be enriched with infrastructures. Although production has been declining for more than a decade, hydrocarbon resources still contribute 54% of the national GDP and the government is trying to take measures to reduce dependence on oil and the import of food. In addition to oil, Gabon has large mineral reserves of manganese – of which the country is the third largest producer in the world – as well as of diamonds, gold, phosphates and iron. Timber production has resulted in severe deterioration of virgin forests. Despite the large proceeds of the extractive industry and the development of related services.