On Wednesday, a group of top military officials in Gabon made an unexpected declaration. They appeared on national television and said that they had seized power just after the results of the state elections, which resulted in President Ali Bongo’s election to a third term, were announced.
The officers, who were present on the Gabon 24 television station, asserted that they spoke for the entire Central African country’s security and defense apparatus. They disbanded state institutions, proclaimed the election results invalid, and shut down all borders till further notice.
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After the event was shown on television, a Reuters reporter said that Libreville’s capital city might be hearing gunshots.
The government of the OPEC member nation has not yet made any response in the short term. There were no immediate reports on Bongo’s whereabouts. He was last seen in the public on Saturday when voting.
On Wednesday, military officials in Gabon made an astounding coup announcement, declaring they were ousting President Ali Bongo Ondimba, potentially endangering decades of family dominance in the Central African country.
The declaration was made during a military takeover that was hailed with gunfire on the streets of the city but derided globally by people wearing military uniforms.
On state television on Wednesday morning, an anonymous junta official claimed, “The national and international community have been informed that Ali Bongo Ondimba is being kept from public life.”
According to the World Bank, 40% of Gabonese between the ages of 15 and 24 would be unemployed in 2020, making Gabon, a former French colony and member of OPEC, a country whose oil wealth is concentrated in the hands of a small number of people. Several members of the Bongo family, according to French media reports, are allegedly the subject of investigations in France. Preliminary claims against them include theft, money laundering, and other forms of corruption.
On Wednesday, soldiers claiming to be in charge claimed that Bongo’s “unpredictable and uncontrollable governance” had put the nation in danger because of “state institutions and big economic players” connected to Gabon and the global banking system. Arrested on suspicion of subverting state institutions was Gabon. Some observers have expressed concern that the takeover could exacerbate divisions between the powerful governing class and the rest of the population rather than make life better for the Gabonese. Soldiers who were celebrating raised the flag of the Republican Guard, which is connected to the Bongo family, in the air. Whether or not the military will choose a new leader is unknown.