8 January 2019

East Africa: MFA Says No Kenyan Affected in DRC and Gabon So Far

Photo: TellMeMore Tv
Soldiers stormed the national radio headquarters in Libreville, Gabon’s capital.

Kenya — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has assured of the safety of Kenyans living in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon amid tension fueled by election jitters and a failed coup.

Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Amb Macharia Kamau said on Tuesday the ministry was monitoring the situation in the two countries, but an assessment so far had shown no Kenyan had been adversely affected.

"We can confirm that no Kenyan living or working in both DR Congo and Gabon has been affected negatively following the election process or the aftermath of attempted coup. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is pleased to acknowledge that peace and a return of the rule of law has been assured in Gabon," Amb Kamau said in a statement to newsrooms.

The PS noted the return of calm in Libreville after the Monday coup attempt led by five mutineers who have since been arrested for attempting to overthrow Gabon President Ali Bongo's government.

Authorities in the oil-rich Gabon announced the arrest of the Coup leader, Lt Kelly Ondo Obiang, after he was reportedly smoked out underneath a bed.

Lt Obiang had led a group of military officers in announcing the formation of a National Restoration Council after taking over a national radio.

"If you are eating, stop; if you are having a drink, stop; if you are sleeping, wake up. Wake up your neighbours. rise up as one and take control of the street," he said in a statement read at the national broadcaster.

"The situation is calm. The gendarmes who are often stationed there have taken control of the entire area around the radio and TV headquarters, so everything is back to normal," BBC quoted government spokesperson Guy-Bertrand Mapangou as saying.

On the presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kamau commended the government of President Joseph Kabila for embracing democracy.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomes the elections while taking note of the challenge that the country has faced in executing the election and commends the government and the people of DRC for the gallant embracement of the democratic electoral exercise," he said.

Tensions had been reported in the country after the electoral commission exempted some regions totaling to 1.2 million voters from taking part in the poll fearing the spread of the Ebola virus.

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