China calls for safety of Gabon’s president following military coup

China urged “all sides” for the safety of Gabon’s President Ali Bongo Ondimba after a group of military officers seized power in a coup on Wednesday.

“China is closely following the developing situation in Gabon,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said.

“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 added.

Wang urged all parties to “guarantee the personal safety of President Bongo, and uphold national peace and stability,” China’s state-run broadcaster CGTN reported.

Beijing’s reaction came hours after some officers of Gabon’s military appeared on national television to say they have seized power.

The attempted coup followed official results that showed Bongo winning a third term in office following the country’s election on Saturday.

The military, however, announced a cancellation of the result, and the dissolution of the country’s institutions, amid reports of gunfire in the capital Libreville on Wednesday.

Earlier, the country’s electoral body announced that Bongo won Saturday’s election with over 64% of the vote. Bongo’s family has held power in Gabon for 56 years.

Gabon is the latest country in Africa to experience a military takeover after members of Niger’s military seized power in the West African country late last month.

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