Gabon military takeover: The world reacts

AFP , Ahram Online , Wednesday 30 Aug 2023

Foreign countries have expressed concern and condemnation following the seizure of power by army officers in Gabon on Wednesday, after disputed elections in which President Ali Bongo Ondimba claimed victory.

This video grab taken from Gabon 24 on August 30, 2023, shows Gabonese soldiers carrying General Brice Oligui Nguema (C), head of the presidential guard of ousted President Ali Bongo Ondimba. AFP



France is following events in Gabon "with the greatest attention", Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Wednesday.

French government spokesman Olivier Veran also said that Paris “condemns the coup that is underway" in Gabon, adding that his country was watching events closely and "reiterates its desire to see the results of the election respected, once they are known,", referring to Saturday's disputed presidential polls in the West African country.

Meanwhile, French mining group Eramet said that it had stopped its activities in Gabon after army officers there claimed they had deposed President Ali Bongo.

Eramet said that "for the safety of staff and the security of operations" it had "stopped" work and was following events closely.

It employs 8,000 people in the oil- and mineral-rich West African country and its local subsidiary extracts manganese ore -- a mineral used in steel-making and batteries -- from the Moanda mines, the world's largest manganese mines.

On Monday, President Emmanuel Macron denounced what he called an "epidemic" of coups in recent years in French-speaking Africa, from Mali and Burkina Faso to Guinea and most recently Niger.


The European Union's foreign policy chief said a military takeover would increase instability in Africa.

"This is a big issue for Europe," said Josep Borrell.

The Commonwealth

The Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said the situation was "deeply concerning" in Gabon, adding: "The Commonwealth Charter is clear that member states must uphold the rule of law and the principles of democracy at all times".


 China called for "all sides" in Gabon to guarantee the safety of President Ali Bongo Ondimba , saying that it is closely following the developing situation in the country.

"We call on all sides in Gabon to proceed from the basic interests of the country and the people, resolve differences through dialogue, (and) restore normal order as soon as possible," foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said, urging parties to "guarantee the personal safety of President Bongo, and uphold national peace and stability".


The Kremlin said it was concerned by events in Gabon, where military officers announced they "put an end to the current regime" and scraped official election results that had handed another term to veteran President Ali Bongo Ondimba.

"We are deeply concerned about the situation in Gabon. We are closely following what is going on there," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

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