Faced with the tense political situation in Gabon and Niger, Paris adopts a nuanced position. While training activities for Gabonese soldiers by French soldiers are suspended, the French Minister of the Armed Forces, Sébastien Lecornu, insists on the distinction between the two situations.
If in Niger, an elected president was overthrown by illegitimate soldiers, in Gabon, it is the non-compliance with electoral law which is highlighted by the putschists according to the French authorities. Paris strongly condemns these acts of force while calling for in-depth diplomatic analysis.
At present, the activities of French soldiers who train Gabonese soldiers have been suspended while waiting for the political situation to clarify, indicated Sébastien Lecornu, French Minister of the Armed Forces, in an interview with the newspaper Le Figaro.
“However, we cannot equate the situation in Niger, where illegitimate soldiers deposed a legitimately elected president, with that of Gabon, where the motive put forward by the soldiers is precisely non-compliance with the law. electoral and the Constitution,” he qualified while adding that Paris condemned all acts of force.
“We must give our diplomacy time to analyze the situation and consult all of its partners,” concluded the interviewee.
As a reminder, on the morning of August 30, a group of senior officers from the Gabonese army announced on national television that they had taken power. Members of the Republican Guard, security services, army and police were among the rebels. The putschists annulled the results of the August 26 elections, won by outgoing President Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba.