Gabonese opposition candidate Jean Ping has declared himself president after a disputed election that triggered two days of post-election riots against President Ali Bongo.
Violence erupted across the Central African country on Wednesday following the announcement of a slim victory for Mr Bongo, who was first elected in 2009 after the death of his father Omar, Gabon's president for 42 years.
But Mr Ping says the poll on Saturday was a sham.
"I am the president," Mr Ping told a news conference after being freed from his headquarters, which had earlier been surrounded by Gabonese security forces.
"The whole world knows who is the president of the republic: it's me, Jean Ping," he said.
"Our country is moving toward chaos. Peace can only occur if the truth of the ballot box is restored and respected."
Five people died in the ensuing unrest, Mr Bongo's spokesman Alain-Claude Bilie By Nze said on Friday, and up to 1100 arrests had been made by Thursday, according to Gabon's interior minister.
Mr Ping called upon the international community to intervene, but analysts said intervention from abroad was unlikely as was a widespread people power revolution to unseat Mr Bongo.
"It looks like the result will stand," NKC African Economics' head of research, Francois Conradie, said. "But Bongo has lost legitimacy and will face an unruly labour environment for his next term," referring to possible strikes.
Traffic resumed on Libreville's wide waterfront avenues on Friday, occasionally veering to dodge litter or burnt tyres. Some shops reopened and residents queued to buy food.
Television stations, supermarkets, shops and homes were looted in Libreville on Wednesday and Thursday. Unrest broke out in other cities and in rural areas as well.
"I'm sad for my country because such things should never happen," National Assembly President Richard Auguste Onouviet said as he surveyed the damage at the parliament building, whose assembly hall was gutted by arson on Wednesday.
In some suburbs of the capital, residents said they had formed small self-defence groups against looters.
A group of Mr Ping's supporters had been holed up inside his headquarters on Friday before being released, as demanded by French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who said France was working with partners to find a quick solution to the crisis.
Mr Ping, a former diplomat and African Union Commission chairman, is a lifelong insider to Gabonese politics who fathered two children with Omar Bongo's daughter, Pascaline, but later fell out with Ali Bongo and resigned from his party in 2014.
France, the United States and the European Union have urged the authorities to release individual polling station results, a request Mr Bongo's spokesman rejected on Thursday.
France has had a military base in Gabon since independence in 1960 and 450 troops are stationed there, according to the French Defence Ministry.