African Union kicks as soldiers topple Bongo govt in Gabon coup

Deposed Ali Bongo Ondimba

The head of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, has condemned what he described as an attempted coup in Gabon.

Recall that Military officers in Gabon, Wednesday, announced they that had seized power following disputed elections in which President Ali Bongo Ondimba, in power since 2009, was declared to have won.

Faki said he was “ following with great concern the situation in the Gabonese Republic and strongly condemns the attempted coup d’etat in the country as a way of resolving its current post-electoral crisis,” according to a statement published on the AU website in French.

Gabon military celebrates after coup

He “calls on the national army and security forces to adhere strictly to their republican vocation, to guarantee the physical integrity of the president of the republic, members of his family as well as those of his government.”

He described Wednesday’s events as a “flagrant violation” of the legal and political instruments of the Addis Ababa-headquartered African Union.

“(Faki) encourages all political, civil and military actors in Gabon to favour peaceful political paths leading to the rapid return to democratic constitutional order in the country.”

Bongo, 64, whose family has ruled Gabon for over 55 years, was placed under house arrest and one of his sons arrested for treason, the coup leaders said.

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Bongo, in a video from an unidentified location, appealed to “all friends that we have all over the world… to make noise” on his behalf.

The military, meanwhile, said: “Today, the country is going through a serious institutional, political, economic and social crisis,” according to the statement read on state TV.

It was read by an officer flanked by a group of a dozen army colonels, members of the elite Republican Guard, regular soldiers and others.

The elections “did not meet the conditions for a transparent, credible and inclusive ballot so much hoped for by the people of Gabon,” the statement said.

“Added to this is irresponsible and unpredictable governance, resulting in a continuing deterioration in social cohesion, with the risk of leading the country in chaos.”

“We — the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions (CTRI) on behalf of the people of Gabon and as guarantors of the institutions’ protection — have decided to defend peace by putting an end to the current regime,” it said.

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