Why Did the Atlantic Council Even Consider Giving African Dictator Ali Bongo Ondimba a ‘Global Citizen Award’?

Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba was scheduled to attend a swanky gala on Monday hosted by the Atlantic Council, a well-known Washington-based think tank, to accept an award for “his life of public service and efforts to improve the lives of the people of Gabon.” Unfortunately for the dictator, he was forced to cancel at the last moment because of mounting unrest in his country — the bloody fallout from a likely stolen election on Aug. 27. (International observers declared the vote fraudulent after the regime reported an improbable 95.5 percent victory for Bongo in his home province amid 99.98 percent voter turnout.)