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ittle is known of the history of Gabon prior to European contact. Bantu migrants settled the area beginning in the 14th century. Portuguese explorers and traders arrived in the area in the late 15th century. The coast subsequently became a center of the slave trade with Dutch, English, and French traders arriving in the 16th century. In 1839 and 1841, France established a protectorate over the coast.
In 1849, captives released from a captured slave ship found in Libreville. In 1862-1887, France expanded its control including the interior of the state, and took full sovereignty.
In 1910 Gabon became part of French Equatorial Africa and in 1960, Gabon became independent.
At the time of Gabon's independence, two principal political parties existed: the Gabonese Democratic Bloc (BDG), led by L