Olivier Véran, the French government’s spokesperson, publicly condemned the ongoing military coup in Gabon on Wednesday. He emphasized that Paris “condemns the current military coup” and noted that France is closely monitoring the evolving situation.
Speaking during a press conference after a Cabinet meeting, Véran reiterated that Paris emphasizes its desire for the “respect of election results once they are known”.
The military in Gabon announced on Wednesday the “termination of the existing regime” shortly after the official announcement of the results of the presidential elections held on Saturday, which confirmed President Ali Bongo’s victory for a third term.
President Ali Bongo has been placed under “house arrest,” surrounded by his family and physicians. Meanwhile, one of his sons has been arrested on charges of “high treason,” as announced by the military who orchestrated the coup on Wednesday morning.
Following the official declaration of Ali Bongo’s victory with 64.27% of the votes on Tuesday night, a group of around 12 military personnel appeared on Gabon 24, a state-owned television channel, from the presidential palace.
One of the military officials, a colonel in the army, subsequently released a statement through the national television channel, stating, “We, the defense and security forces assembled within the Transitional Committee for Institution Phase and Restoration, have decided on behalf of the Gabonese people to defend the peace by ending the current regime.”
He further elaborated, “To this end, the general elections that took place on August 26, 2023, have been canceled, along with their results.”
In response to the developments, the French mining giant company, Eramet, announced the suspension of all its operations in Gabon, where it owns Comilog, a unit for producing high-quality manganese, following the military coup announcement.