The recent increase in oil prices will be especially welcomed by Central Africa’s small but dominant ruling elites. The stand-off over Gabon’s presidential election – with Jean Ping contesting the narrow victory announced for President Ali Bongo Ondimba, his former brother-in-law whom he served as foreign minister – is just the most recent manifestation of political turbulence in a region where vulnerable economies have been rendered even more fragile by the slump in the global commodities cycle. Suggestions that Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso and allies close to the presidency in Côte d’Ivoire might have supported Ping against Bongo point to the network of close contacts that still typifies the region’s murky politics.