Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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Who is likely behind the coup in Gabon?

Monday 18/September/2023 - 07:37 PM
The Reference
Mahmud al-Batakoshi

Question marks still surround the coup a group of army officers staged in Gabon on the eve of August 30, and their overthrow of President Ali Bongo who won a third term in office.

The officers carrying out the coup also closed Gabon's borders and dissolved all state institutions.

International condemnation

The military coup in Gabon, which put an end to the rule of the Bongo family, which dominated power in the country since 1967, provoked widespread international condemnation.

The US and the African Union condemned this development, along with the European Union's foreign policy official, Josep Borrell who said the coup increases instability on the African continent.

Russia and China said they hoped stability would return to Gabon, while the US expressed concern over the same developments.

Possible Russian role

International relations expert, Gamal Abdel Hamid, referred to the mixed reactions that met the coup in Gabon.

Some people, he said, accused Russia of supporting the coup in a secret manner.

"These people reached this conclusion against the background of rivalry between Moscow and the West," Abdel Hamid told The Reference.

However, he noted that the practical reality confirms the absence of a real Russian role in the Gabonese coup.

This, he said, comes in the light of the very limited Russian influence inside Gabon.

"The coup leaders have also showed no indication to any desire to strengthen cooperation with Moscow," Abdel Hamid said.

He added that the UK is likely to have a role in the military coup in Gabon, in the light of its efforts to strengthen its influence in this region, especially that the recent coup reflects one of the features of the Anglo-francophone power struggle on the African continent.

US footprint

Abdel Hamid did not rule out the presence of the imprint of the US in the coup.

The US, he said, seeks to strengthen its influence on the African continent, and undermine French influence in West and Central Africa.

"The US also views Russia as pulling the rug from under the feet of European countries, especially France, in Africa," Abdel Hamid said.