Gabon coup: Army officers declare they have assumed control of the nation following President Ali Bongo’s election win

After President Ali Bongo is elected to a third term in a hotly contested election, army officers in Gabon announce a coup.All of the republic’s institutions, according to one of the commanders, had been Afp and James Callery 30 August 2023 15:02 Eastern Daylight Time

Today, a group of military officials from Gabon went on television and declared they were “putting an end to the current regime” and calling off an election that President Ali Bongo Ondimba had won, according to the official results.The announcement was being made when shooting could be heard in Libreville, the capital of Gabon.One of the officials said that “all the institutions of the republic” had been dissolved while canceling the results of the referendum.

An officer read the speech while being accompanied by several dozen army colonels, special Republican Guard soldiers, regular soldiers, and others. Later, they claimed to have put Bongo under home arrest.It followed the announcement that Bongo had won a third term in the election held on Saturday with 64.27 percent of the vote by the national electoral authority.

14 years have passed since Bongo came to power in the oil-rich nation of West Africa.The officer stated on Gabon 24 television that “the country is currently experiencing a serious institutional, political, economic, and social crisis.”The latest election, according to him, “did not meet the conditions for a transparent, credible, and inclusive ballot,” as the Gabonese people had hoped.The officer declared, adding that he was speaking on behalf of the “Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions,” “We have decided to defend peace by putting an end to the current regime.”

The announcement was also shown on public television station Gabon 1.He declared, “As a result, the general elections of August 26, 2023 and the truncated results are cancelled.”He continued by declaring that “until further notice,” the nation’s borders would be shut. “All the institutions of the republic are dissolved: the government, the Senate, the National Assembly, and the Constitutional Court,” he said. Hundreds of troops held Brice Oligui Nguema, the chief of the presidential guard for Gabon, aloft today, according to photos seen on state TV, hours after rebel commanders claimed to have overthrown Bongo.After a statement revealing Bongo was under house arrest, the video of troops yelling “Oligui president” was aired repeatedly.Bongo urged people to’make noise’ in favor of him in a video that appeared to be from his home when he was being detained there.According to the data released before the officers made their decision, Albert Ondo Ossa, Bongo’s major opponent, received only 30.77 percent of the vote.

Ondo Ossa claimed he was the legitimate winner and accused Bongo of “fraud” before the votes closed on Saturday.To stop the dissemination of “false news” and potential violence during the election, Bongo’s government enacted a curfew and shut down the internet nationally.

Ondo Ossa’s campaign manager, Mike Jocktane, urged Bongo to cede power ‘without bloodshed’ on Monday. He claimed that a partial count showed Ondo Ossa clearly ahead, although he offered no supporting documentation.According to Gabonese legislation, only the Gabonese Elections Centre, the organization that oversees the elections, is authorized to officially announce the final results, which are not to be published in advance.

The Commonwealth expressed its concerns over the military takeover today and stated that it was closely following the situation.The Commonwealth Charter is crystal clear that member states must defend the rule of law and democratic ideals at all times, according to Secretary General Patricia Scotland, who called the situation “deeply concerning.”

‘The United States also stated that the actions in Gabon are ‘very troubling’.White House national security spokesman John Kirby stated at a briefing that “We will remain a supporter of the people in the region, a supporter of the people of Gabon and of their demand for democratic governance.”

“We’re keeping a close eye on this.”‘France condemns the military coup that is happening in Gabon and is closely monitoring developments in the nation,’ said Olivier Veran, a spokesman for the French government, on Wednesday.400 French soldiers are stationed in Gabon to lead a regional military training exercise. France has maintained close economic, diplomatic, and military connections with Gabon.Josep Borrell, the top diplomat for the European Union, said this week’s meetings of the bloc’s ministers would include a discussion of Gabon and warned that any military takeover would exacerbate “instability in the entire region.”

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