‘We’re watching’ – China reacts to Gabon coup

China on Wednesday called for all sides in Gabon to guarantee the safety of President Ali Bongo Ondimba after a group of military officers said they were “putting an end to the current regime” in the West African nation.

Politics Nigeria reported that army officers appeared on national television in Gabon on Wednesday to announce that they have taken over power in the Central African country.

The officers said they were annulling the results of Saturday’s election, in which President Ali Bongo was declared the winner.

Meanwhile, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Wang Wenbin, said:

“China is closely following the developing situation in Gabon.

“We call on all sides in Gabon to proceed from the basic interests of the country and the people, resolve differences through dialogue, (and) restore normal order as soon as possible.”

He urge parties to guarantee the personal safety of President Bongo and uphold national peace and stability.

Bongo has been in power for 14 years in the oil-rich West African state. He was first elected in 2009 following the death of his father, Omar Bongo Ondimba, who had ruled the country for 41 years.

He visited Beijing in April and met with President Xi Jinping, who declared him “an old friend” of the Chinese people.

Jinping also hailed Bongo’s “significant achievements” in development.

Bongo, in turn, appreciated China for its “valuable assistance” in promoting Gabon’s economic diversification and industrialisation, according to a readout from state news agency Xinhua.

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