The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) on Thursday condemned the coup in Gabon, saying the bloc is “following with deep concern the announcement made by the defense and security forces on Aug. 30.”
In a statement, the bloc urged the authorities in Gabon to “take all measures for a rapid return to constitutional order.”
Speaking on national television on Wednesday, senior military officers announced the end of the regime, blaming poor governance, and annulled the results of Saturday's presidential election. Ali Bongo, the ousted president, won with over 64% of the vote and was re-elected for a third term.
Brice Oligui Nguema, commander of Bongo's Republican Guard and now leader of the junta, pledged to "restore democracy through future elections."
This use of force was "firmly" condemned by ECCAS, which called on "the political genius of the Gabonese people" to engage in dialogue, the statement said.
The bloc also announced the imminent convening of a peace and security council to discuss the issue.
Central Africa is home to some of the world's longest-serving political leaders.