Moussa Faki Mahamat, the head of the African Union Commission, issued a stern warning to the Gabonese national army and security forces on Wednesday, urging them to uphold their commitment to a “republican vocation.” At the same time, he strongly condemned what he referred to as an “attempted coup” in Gabon.
Rebel officers in the oil-rich central African nation had declared earlier on Wednesday that they had taken control of the government following contested elections, during which President Ali Bongo Ondimba had been declared the winner. Bongo, aged 64, hailing from a family that has governed Gabon for more than 55 years, was reportedly placed under house arrest, and one of his sons was arrested on charges of treason, as announced by the coup leaders.
Expressing his deep concern, Faki stated that he was closely monitoring the situation in the Gabonese Republic and unequivocally condemned the attempted coup d’état as a misguided response to the ongoing post-electoral crisis. In a statement published on the AU’s official website in French, he emphasized the need for the national army and security forces to strictly uphold their commitment to the principles of a republic, ensuring the physical safety of the president, his family, and government members.
Furthermore, Faki denounced the events of Wednesday as a blatant infringement upon the legal and political frameworks established by the African Union, headquartered in Addis Ababa.
Faki went on to encourage all political, civil, and military entities in Gabon to pursue peaceful political means, leading to a swift restoration of democratic constitutional order within the country.
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