Gabon coup: Military officers say they're seizing power after President Ali Bongo wins third term2 min read 30 Aug 2023, 02:31 PM IST
Coup in Gabon as military officers seize power following President Ali Bongo's third term win announcement.Military officers claim coup in Gabon after President Ali Bongo wins third term
Gabon coup: A group of senior military officers in Gabon claimed they had seized power in the early hours of Wednesday. This came minutes after the Central African state's election body announced that President Ali Bongo Ondimba, 64, was declared winner of an election marred by fears of violence.
The coup attempt came about one month after mutinous soldiers in Niger seized power from the democratically elected government. Gabon's coup, if successful would bring the number of coups in West and Central Africa to eight since 2020. Unlike Niger and two other West African countries run by military juntas, Gabon hasn’t been wracked by jihadi violence and had been seen as relatively stable. But nearly 40% of Gabonese ages 15-24 were out of work in 2020, according to the World Bank.
French mining group Eramet stops Gabon operations
After army claimed coup, French mining group Eramet said that it had stopped its activities in Gabon. Eramet said that "for the safety of staff and the security of operations" it had "stopped" work and was following events closely, as reported by AFP. The company employs 8,000 people in the oil- and mineral-rich West African country and its local subsidiary extracts manganese ore -- a mineral used in steel-making and batteries from the Moanda mines, the world's largest manganese mines.
China calls for safety of Gabon's President Bongo to be guaranteed
China called for "all sides" in Gabon to guarantee the safety of President Ali Bongo Ondimba after a group of military officers said they were "putting an end to the current regime" in the West African nation.
"China is closely following the developing situation in Gabon," foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said as quoted by AFP. "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," he added, urging parties to "guarantee the personal safety of President Bongo, and uphold national peace and stability", as quoted by AFP.
(With inputs from agencies)