United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres condemned the coupe in Gabon and called on the rebels to ensure the safety of President Ali Bongo Ondimba and his family, United Nations Secretary-General’s Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on Wednesday.
"The Secretary General is following closely the evolving situation in Gabon. He notes with deep concern the announcement of the election results amid reports of serious infringements of fundamental freedoms," he said. "He firmly condemns the ongoing coup attempt as a means to resolve the post electoral crisis. The Secretary General reaffirms 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 stressed.
A group of high-ranking officers in the Gabonese armed forces announced on state television earlier that they had taken power in the country. The rebels consist of officers serving in the Central African nation’s security forces, armed forces and police, as well as members of the national guard and presidential guard. The rebels canceled the outcome of the August 26 presidential vote that resulted in President Ali Bongo Ondimba’s election to his third office term. The military said that the president was under house arrest "surrounded by his family and doctors." He confirmed in a video that he was being held at the presidential residence.
Later, the rebels named Republican Guard head General Brice Oligui Nguema as transitional leader, Reuters reported, citing a statement one of the rebels read out on national television reprots TASS.