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Gabon coup: France, Russia, China and others call for calm

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Coup in Gabon

It’s not new information that the President of Gabon, who was re-elected recently, has been removed from power due to a coup that took place early this morning.

The Bongo family has been a consistent presence in the political landscape of Gabon ever since the country gained independence from France.

The coup that occurred in Gabon has prompted responses from various countries worldwide.

France, the former colonizer of Gabon and a nation with significant influence in the area, criticized the coup. A government spokesperson released a statement condemning the events, which reads,

  • “France condemns the ongoing military coup in Gabon and reiterates its desire to see the results of the election respected, once they are known.”

In an address to ambassadors in France, the French Prime Minister said the country is following the situation closely.

Embattled Russia which is seeking to boost its influence in Africa through diplomatic trade and defence pacts released a statement through its Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova saying;

  • “Moscow has received with concern reports of a sharp deterioration in the internal situation in the friendly African country. We continue to closely monitor the development of the situation and hope for its speedy stabilization,”

China which like Russia is seeking increased influence and relations with African nations called for all sides to act in the basic interest of the country. It said,

  • “We call on all sides in Gabon to proceed from the basic interests of the country and the people, resolve differences through dialogue [and] restore normal order as soon as possible, guarantee the personal safety of President Bongo and uphold national peace and stability”.

The European Union (EU) through its Defence Chief Joseph Borrell said the situation in Libreville could further destabilise an already volatile region.

In his words,

  • “If this is confirmed, it is another military coup which increases instability in the whole region,”
  • “The whole area, starting with Central African Republic, then Mali, then Burkina Faso, now Niger, maybe Gabon, it’s in a very difficult situation and certainly the ministers … have to have a deep thought on what is going on there and how we can improve our policy in respect with these countries,”

He further said EU Defence Chiefs will meet later to discuss the situation in the country and the broader region.

The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations Patricia Scotland said of the coup “The Commonwealth Charter is clear that member states must uphold the rule of law and the principles of democracy at all times”.

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