South Africa condemns attempted military coup d’état in Gabon

Gabon's President Ali Bongo. Photo by Steve JORDAN / AFP.

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (ADV) – South Africa has enormously condemned the attempted coup d’état undertaken in the Republic of Gabon yesterday by elements of the military.

The Soldiers entered the national radio station in Libreville around 4 a.m. local time to read a statement in which they announced the setting up of a “National Council of the Restoration.”

In the statement, Ondo Obiang Kelly, lieutenant of the Republican Guard, announced that they were disappointed by the message delivered on December 31 by President Ali Bongo, which “rather heightened doubts about his ability to assume the office of President of the Republic.”

“South Africa condemns in the strongest possible terms the attempted coup to overthrow the democratically elected Government in the Republic of Gabon,” reads a statement by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO).

“In this regard, South Africa reaffirms the African Union principle of the total rejection of all unconstitutional change of power. The country has also noted that the Army in Gabon has since arrested the perpetrators of the attempted coup, and calls upon the Army to help restore the democratically elected government as soon as possible.

According to media reports, Gabon has managed to arrest four soldiers who attempted to take control of the national radio station on Monday morning, reported RFI radio quoting government spokesman Guy-Bertrand Mapangou as saying.

The lieutenant later managed to flee but four other soldiers were arrested by the military following an intervention. The situation is under control and order will be completely restored in two or three hours, said the government spokesman.

President Ali Bongo is said to be currently recovering in Morocco, after suffering a stroke in late October 2018. In the message he gave to the nation on December 31, he expressed that the condition of his health is improving.

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