The president of the African Union (AU) Commission “strongly condemns the attempted coup d’état” in Gabon, denouncing “a flagrant violation” of the principles of the continental organization, in a press release published Wednesday.
Moussa Faki Mahamat “calls on the national army and the security forces to stick strictly to their republican vocation, to guarantee the physical integrity of the President of the Republic (Ali Bongo Ondimba), members of his family, as well as of those of his government.
Putschist soldiers announced on Wednesday that they had “put an end to the regime in place” in Gabon and had placed President Ali Bongo Ondimba, in power for 14 years, under house arrest, just after the official announcement of his victory in the presidential election held on Saturday.
“Moussa Faki follows the situation in the Gabonese Republic with great concern and strongly condemns the attempted coup d’état (in the) country as a way of resolving its current post-electoral crisis”according to the AU statement. “It strongly recalls that it constitutes a flagrant violation of the legal and political instruments of the African Union, including the African Charter on elections, democracy and governance”.
Until this coup, Gabon, an oil-rich central African country, had been ruled for more than 55 years by the Bongo family. International reactions to this new coup d’état in a French-speaking African country were quick.
China called for “guarantee the security of Ali Bongo” while France, a former colonial power, has “condemned the ongoing military coup”. Russia expressed its “deep concern” as did the Commonwealth, an organization that Gabon joined last year.