The head of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, on Wednesday, warned the Gabonese national army and security forces to adhere to their “republican vocation”.
This comes as he fiercely condemned what he called a “attempted coup” in Gabon.
Rebel officers in the oil-rich central African state announced earlier Wednesday that they had taken power following disputed elections in which President Ali Bongo Ondimba was pronounced the winner.
The coup leaders said Bongo, 64, whose family has ruled Gabon for over 55 years, was placed under house arrest and one of his sons was detained for treason.
“(Faki) is 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,” he said in a statement published on the AU website in French.
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”.
The AU commission chief also called Wednesday’s actions a “flagrant violation” of the African Union’s legal and political instruments, which are based in Addis Abeba.