The Economic Community of Central African States (ECAS) strongly condemned the coup in Gabon and demanded that the safety of President Ali Bongo be guaranteed.
Today, Friday, the group urged the United Nations and the African Union to unite efforts to support a speedy return to constitutional order in Gabon. She said she would hold a second extraordinary meeting next Monday to focus on Gabon’s coup.
In a related context, the main opposition party in Gabon, Alternative 2023, called on the international community today to urge the military junta that overthrew President Ali Bongo to return power to civilians.
The party said it wanted a full count of voters in Tuesday’s election, which it said would show Ondo Ossa’s victory. Gabon’s election commission said Bongo was re-elected with 64 percent of the vote, while Ondo Ossa got nearly 31 percent of the vote.
Yesterday, Thursday, the Peace and Security Council of the African Union called on the army to refrain from any interference in the political process, and called for fair and transparent elections.
France, which once colonized Gabon, and other Western countries condemned the military coup.
It is noteworthy that army officers seized power in a coup on Wednesday, minutes after announcing that President Ali Bongo won a third term in the elections, and placed him under house arrest, and chose General Brice Olegie Njima as the leader of a transitional period.
The junta has made little clear about its current plans after ending nearly six decades of Bongo dynasty rule, in a move that crowds took to the streets of Libreville to support.
Bongo has ruled the country since 2009, succeeding his father, who died after being president since 1967. Critics say the family has done little to make Gabon’s oil and mining wealth benefit the country’s 2.3 million people, about a third of whom are poor.