Support during Gabon coup attempt
Gabon is a low-risk country; however ‘low risk’ does not mean ‘no risk’. On 7 January 2019, Central African country Gabon experienced an attempted military coup.
Service: Travel Security Advice
A construction engineering client from China found himself in the middle of this. Until our travel risk team had notified him, he was unaware of this developing, dangerous situation. He had no previous experience with such situations, so was alarmed and wanted to be flown home.
Our local intelligence determined that leaving the hotel and going to the airport was an unnecessary risk while the situation rapidly evolved and advised that he stand fast.
Communicating through email and messaging apps, we were able to alert and directly brief both the traveller in-country and travel manager at their office headquarters about the situation.
With our unrivalled global intelligence capabilities, we deliver fast response times to incidents and events. We can improve access to timely and accurate situation intelligence as well as an organisation’s ability to make insight-led decisions. Having this external support can help reduce operating risks for organisations.
The coup was foiled within a few hours, and the traveller was able to resume his business activities in Gabon with minimal disruption.
Organisations need to establish preventive programs made specifically for the environments their travellers are in. They also need to have access to current information about the destination. Should a situation arise, having robust travel policies and communication plans can make the difference to in-country staff’s safety. If prevention is not possible, immediate and effective assistance capabilities are vital.