First colonized by France in the mid-19th century, Gabon was annexed to French Congo in 1890 and became a separate colony in 1910 as one of the 4 territories of French Equatorial Africa. It achieved independence on 17 Aug. 1960. The first President, Leon M’ba, died in 1967 and was succeeded on 1 Dec. by his Vice-President, Omar Bongo, who proclaimed a one-party (Parti démocratique gabonais) state in March 1968.
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