Army reaffirms loyalty to Gabon's leadership after coup warning

20:40, March 19, 2010      

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The Gabonese Defense Ministry has reaffirmed the loyalty of the army to the current leadership following a warning by opposition leader Andre Mba Obame that there could be a coup d'etat by the end of the year.

The armed forces "will not abandon the military ethics and allow a coup d'etat led by politicians who are greedy for power," the ministry said in a statement released here on Thursday.

The ministry condemned the "politicians" who were planning to do anything "for their selfish interests to the detriment of the Gabonese people."

"Power should only be sought through the ballot box," the ministry reiterated.

"The respect for the constitution applies to all Gabonese people and that is why they will not tolerate any action that is likely to cause trouble, disorder and destabilization of our country," the statement noted.

"We are warning anyone who intends to disturb public order, we shall hold them responsible both nationally and internationally for any consequences that will follow and we are calling on all military officers to be vigilant," the statement said.

In a recent interview with the French newspaper L'Express, former Gabonese interior minister, who became an opposition candidate and later the executive secretary of the National Union, declared, "If things go on like this, there will be a coup d'etat before the end of the year. A coup d'etat similar to the one in Niger."

The warning aroused the anger of the ruling Democratic Party of Gabon and the government.

Source: Xinhua
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