China on Wednesday called on “relevant parties” in Gabon to “guarantee the security” of President Ali Bongo Ondimba, after the military coup in this oil-rich Central African country.
“China is closely following the development of the situation in Gabon and calls on the parties concerned to act in the fundamental interests of the Gabonese people,” commented a spokesperson for Chinese diplomacy, Wang Wenbin, interviewed during a press conference. The spokesperson called on the various actors to “peacefully resolve their differences through dialogue, immediately return to normal order, and guarantee the personal security of Ali Bongo”.
Mr. Bongo was elected in 2009 after the death of his father Omar Bongo Ondimba, who had ruled Gabon for more than 41 years. On Wednesday, the Gabonese authorities had just announced his re-election with 64.27% of the votes when a group of a dozen soldiers appeared on the screens of the Gabon 24 television channel to announce an “end to the regime in place”.
Ali Bongo, 64, whose fate was not immediately known, went to Beijing in April. Chinese President Xi Jinping then called him an “old friend” of China and praised his “important achievements” in development.