The United Nations, France and Italy have strongly condemned the coup in Gabon adding that they are closely monitoring the situation in capital Libreville.
In a message given by Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres it was said, ” The Secretary-General is following the evolving situation in Gabon very closely. He notes with deep concern the announcement of the election results amidst reports of serious infringements of fundamental freedoms. He firmly condemns the ongoing coup attempt as a means to resolve the post-electoral crisis.”
Military officers in Gabon said they had seized power on Wednesday. President Ali Bongo has been placed under house arrest despite winning elections third time. Military named General Brice Oligui Nguema, former head of the presidential guard as the new leader.
Gabon became the eighth country where a military takeover has taken place in West and Central Africa since 2020 and followed by the military coup in Niger taken place a few months ago. Military rulers have usurped power in Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso and Chad diluting efforts of democratic gains since the 1990s.
Further in the message it was said, “The Secretary-General calls on all actors involved to exercise restraint, engage in an inclusive and meaningful dialogue and ensure that the rule of law and human rights are fully respected. He also calls on the national army and security forces to guarantee the physical integrity of the President of the Republic and his family.”
France which is the former colonial ruler of Gabon and also has troops stationed there, condemned the coup.
Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne earlier said that France was monitoring the developments in coup-hit Gabon with the “utmost attention.”
Meanwhile Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani condemned the coup and said,” crisis unit of the Italian Foreign Ministry and the country’s embassy in Libreville are closely following how the situation in Gabon is evolving.”
He added that the situation in Gabon and in the rest of Africa will be discussed at a meeting of EU foreign ministers on Wednesday and Thursday.
Also African Union joined the international community in condemning the coup in Gabon.