ousted the Bongo family after 55 years

ousted the Bongo family after 55 years

A group of soldiers announced this Wednesday that they had put an end to the current regime in Gabon and in house arrest to the president Ali Bongo Ondimbawhose re-election, after 14 years in power, had just been proclaimed by the electoral authorities.

Until this coup, the oil-rich Central African country had been run for more than 55 years by the Bongo family.

Ali Bongo, who succeeded his father in 2009, was placed under house arrest, “surrounded by his family and his doctors,” the military announced on state television. One of his sons, Noureddin Bongo Valentin, was arrested for “high treason”.

High officials of the regime, advisors to the presidency and the two main officials of the all-powerful Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) were also arrested.

Gabon crisis_ Military officers say they have taken power (1).mp4

The head of the presidential guard, General Brice Oligui Nguema, was carried away triumphantly by hundreds of soldiers, according to images broadcast on television.

International reaction to the coup in Gabon

International reactions to this new coup in an African country did not wait. China called to “guarantee Ali Bongo’s safety,” while France, a former colonial power, “condemned the ongoing military coup” and Russia expressed “deep concern.”

After the official announcement at night of Bongo’s victory in Saturday’s elections with 64.27% of the vote, twelve soldiers appeared on television to announce the dissolution of State institutions.

In their statement, the military announced the annulment of Saturday’s elections and the dissolution of “all the institutions” of this country in West-Central Africa.

After warning that a “continuous deterioration of social cohesion” threatens to “bring the country into chaos”, the military indicated that they have “decided to defend peace by putting an end to the current regime”.

“To this end, the August 26 elections are annulled and the results manipulated,” announced one of the soldiers who spoke on behalf of the group.

“All the institutions of the Republic have been dissolved: the government, the Senate, the National Assembly and the Constitutional Court,” they added.

The military, who said they were speaking on behalf of a “Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions,” also announced that the country’s borders will remain “closed until further notice.”

They called on the population to “maintain calm and serenity and we reaffirm our commitment to respect Gabon’s commitments to the international community.”

Among the military, there were members of the Republican Guard (GR), the praetorian guard of the presidency recognizable by their green berets, as well as soldiers from the regular army and members of the police.

AFP journalists heard automatic weapons shots in the capital Libreville during the statement.

In the morning hours, the streets of Libreville were deserted, AFP journalists observed.

In their message, the military denounced “irresponsible and unpredictable governance.”

Ali Bongo was running for a third term in Saturday’s elections, which included presidential, legislative and municipal elections.

According to the results released by the Gabonese Election Center (CGE), Bongo’s main rival, Albert Ondo Ossa, reached 30.77% of the vote.

Ondo had denounced “frauds orchestrated by the Bongo camp” two hours before the voting closed, and claimed victory.

The election was held without the presence of international observers.

Ondo, 69, had been elected eight days before the elections by the main platform of opposition parties, Alternance 2023, after an arduous fight between six suitors.

This professor of Economics at the University of Libreville and former minister of Omar Bongo, only had six days to campaign.

The official results of the vote were released at 03:30 in the morning (02:30 GMT) on state television without any prior notice.

The announcement was made in full curfew and with the internet cut off throughout the country, measures imposed by the government before the polls closed on Saturday to prevent the spread of “false news” and possible “acts of violence.”

The internet was restored hours after the military’s announcement.

Source: Ambito

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