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UN chief condemns ongoing coup attempt in Gabon

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UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has firmly condemned the ongoing coup attempt as a means to resolve the post-electoral crisis in Gabon.

UN Spokesperson Stephanie Dujarric disclosed this at a news conference on Wednesday at UN headquarters in New York.

Gabonese military officers have canceled elections results and dissolved state institutions, claiming they have taken power, according to local media reports.

The African country’s borders are closed until further notice, said the reports, adding gunfire was heard in the capital Libreville.

The officers said that the general election was not credible, and the results were annulled.

Prior to the incident, Gabon’s national electoral body said that President Ali Bongo Ondimba from the ruling Gabonese Democratic Party was re-elected for a third term in Saturday’s election.

“The secretary-general is following the evolving situation in Gabon very closely.

“He notes with deep concern the announcement of the election results amidst reports of serious infringements of fundamental freedoms,’’ Dujarric said.

The spokesperson said the secretary-general reaffirmed his strong opposition to military coups.

“The secretary-general calls on all actors involved to exercise restraint, engage in an inclusive and meaningful dialogue and ensure that the rule of law and human rights are fully respected.

“He also calls on the national army and security forces to guarantee the physical integrity of the President of the Republic and his family.,’’ he said.

According to him, the United Nations stands by the people of Gabon.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Cabon is a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.

NAN also reports that Niger, Burkina Faso, other West African countries toppled by Military coup in last 4 years.

Others are Chad (since April 2021) Guinea (since September 2021), Mali (since August 2020) and Sudan.

Dujarric, while answering a question on solutions to spread of military take off in Africa countries at the press briefing, said the best way to deal with military coup is to prevent it.

“The best way to deal with it is to invest more in preventing it from happening, by investing in strong institutions and ensuring that elections are safe.

“Also, that people can express themselves freely and that their human rights are respected. That is the best remedy.

“Afterwards, there is need to condemn military coup strongly,’’ he said

in addition, he said the UN has 81 international staff and 163 national staff working in the country and  that latest information suggested that all staff and their families were safe and sound.

“Our broader concern is really for the people of Gabon, and people of countries that have undergone military coups recently which is a clear violation of their rights.

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