Countries are beginning to react to the coup d’état that took place this morning in Gabon, only a month after the coup in Niger. Morocco has “stressed the importance of preserving the stability and tranquillity of the population” of Gabon, which it considers a “brother country”.
In a communiqué published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Kingdom also expressed its confidence in “the wisdom of the Gabonese nation”, as well as in “its strong forces and its national institutions to move towards a perspective that allows it to act in the best interests of the country to safeguard the achievements made and to respond to the aspirations of the brotherly Gabonese people”.
This morning, a group of military officers announced the “end of the current regime” in Gabon, annulling last Saturday’s elections and dissolving all of the African nation’s institutions. The elections had ended with the victory of President Ali Bongo, who had been in power for 14 years after the death of his father.
In their televised speech, the military coup plotters argued their move on the grounds of “a steady deterioration of social cohesion” that threatens to throw the country into “chaos”, reasons that have been cited by other coup plotters on the continent.
Hours after the uprising, President Bongo appealed to the international community for help from his residence, where he has been detained since this morning. The new leaders said the president, his family and his doctor are under house arrest.
In addition, one of his sons, Noureddin Bongo Valentin, his chief of staff, Ian Ghislain Ngoulou, and other people close to the president have been arrested on charges of “high treason against state institutions, massive embezzlement of public funds, international financial embezzlement by an organised gang, forgery and use of forgery of the signature of the President of the Republic, and drug trafficking”.
Gabon thus joins the list of African countries that have suffered coups d’état in recent years or months, such as Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso.