A coup d’etat has just occurred in Gabon, a Central African, French speaking country, as senior military officials made a public appearance on national television today, August 30, asserting that they have taken control of the government due to their doubts about the legitimacy of the recent weekend elections.
In the early hours of today, August 30, the officers were featured on Gabon24, where they declared the annulment of the elections, the dissolution of all governmental bodies, and the sealing of the country’s borders.
The statement emphasized that they were acting on behalf of the entirety of Gabon’s security and defense forces.
This announcement swiftly followed the declaration by the state’s electoral body that President Ali Bongo Ondimba had secured a third term in office during the contested elections on Saturday.
“On behalf of the Gabonese populace, we have opted to safeguard peace by bringing an end to the existing regime,” the officers stated.
According to the Gabonese Election Centre, Bongo attained 64.27 percent of the vote, while his primary contender, Albert Ondo Ossa, secured 30.77 percent. However, the electoral process was marred by significant delays.
Reports said that there was considerable uncertainty surrounding the military intervention and a palpable sense of tension.
The military leadership contended that the government has been neglecting the will of the Gabonese people for an extended period and insisted on change.
During Saturday’s election, the opposition faction labeled the proceedings as a “deception orchestrated by Ali Bongo and his supporters.”
This assertion was made amid the shutdown of the internet and the imposition of a curfew. The French media outlets France 24, RFI, and TV5 Monde were also prohibited from reporting due to alleged bias in connection with the ongoing general elections, as asserted by the government.
Soi indicated that the internet was still inaccessible, echoing the fears and trepidation of the populace.
Access to information concerning the unfolding situation in Gabon remained limited.
President Bongo, the candidate of the Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG), which was founded by his father, Omar Bongo, has held a firm grip on power since succeeding his father, who ruled Gabon from 1967 to 2009.
The current location of President Bongo is unknown, as the military has not disclosed this information.
Tensions escalated during Saturday’s vote, with the opposition advocating for change and an end to the enduring influence of the Bongo family over Gabon.
Following the military’s proclamation, reports from Reuters and AFP confirmed the sounds of gunfire in Libreville, the capital city of Gabon.