Libreville, Gabon: Senior military officers in Gabon have announced that they have taken control of the country. This announcement came following their appearance on state-run Gabon TV.
According to the military’s statement, the decision to seize power stems from “an irresponsible and unpredictable governance” that has led to a “continuous deterioration of social cohesion.” The officers, identifying themselves as the Committee for Transition and Restoration of Institutions, expressed their intent to restore peace and end the existing regime. Gabon Embassy and its diaspora in an elegant event just celebrated its 63rd Independence in Washington
“All the institutions of the republic are dissolved: in particular the government, the Senate, the National Assembly, the Constitutional Court, Economic and Social and Environmental Council, and the Elections Council of Gabon,” the officer said.
“We call on the population of Gabon, the communities of neighboring countries living in Gabon, as well as the Gabonese diaspora, to remain calm.”
This power move comes on the heels of the country’s recent election results. Gabon’s electoral commission had declared that President Ali Bongo won a third term with nearly 65% of the vote. This has been a contentious ballot, with allegations of its legitimacy. Bongo’s primary opponent claimed to have secured 30% of the votes and has vocally rejected the election results, alleging manipulation.
There have been reports of growing tension and uncertainty within the nation. Citizens were urged to remain indoors, and the internet, which was shut down over the weekend, remains inaccessible. Additionally, a curfew was imposed, adding to the growing anxieties among the Gabonese people.
Reuters reported this will be the eighth coup in West and Central Africa since 2020. Coups in Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Chad and Niger have continued to undermine democratic progress in recent years.
The location and status of President Ali Bongo remain uncertain, raising more questions about the situation on the ground. It’s unclear whether he is within the presidential palace or outside the capital city of Libreville.
News correspondents have described the atmosphere in Gabon as “very tense.” For now, Gabon finds itself at a critical juncture, with its immediate future hanging in the balance.