20 things to know about Gabon’s military coup

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This video grab taken from Gabon 24 shows Gabonese soldiers appearing on television on August 30, 2023 announcing they were "putting an end to the current regime" and the cancellation of an election that, according to official results, President Ali Bongo Ondimba won. - During the announcement, AFP journalists heard gunfire ring out in the Gabonese capital, Libreville. While announcing the cancellation of the results one of the soldiers announced the dissolution of "all the institutions of the republic". "We have decided to defend peace by putting an end to the current regime", one of the soldiers said on TV channel Gabon 24, adding that he was speaking on behalf of the "Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions". "To this end, the general elections of 26 August 2023 and the truncated results are cancelled," he added. "All the institutions of the republic are dissolved: the government, the Senate, the National Assembly and the Constitutional Court," he added, announcing the closure of the country's borders "until further notice". Among the soldiers were members of the Republican Guard as well as soldiers of the regular army and police officers. (Photo by - / Gabon 24 / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / GABON 24" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / GABON 24" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS /

The military in the early hours of Wednesday announced the takeover of the government in Gabon.

This is coming after the July 26 coup d’état in Niger Republic when the country’s presidential guard detained president Mohamed Bazoum and presidential guard commander general Abdourahamane Tchiani proclaimed himself the leader of a new military junta, shortly after confirming the coup a success.

 

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FTN reports that a group of senior Gabonese soldiers on Wednesday appeared on national television and said they had taken power, minutes after the state election body announced President Ali Bongo had won a third term.

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The senior officers said they represented all security and defence forces in the Central African nation.

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Here are things to know about the Military coup in Gabon

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1. Gabon general election was held on August 26, 2023.

 

2. Incumbent President Ali Bongo Ondimba ran for re-election.

 

3. The Gabonese Democratic Party, of which Bongo is a member, has ruled the country continuously since independence from France in 1960, including 41 years under Bongo’s father, Omar.

4. Allegations of electoral fraud and irregularities immediately emerged from opposition parties and independent observers, casting a shadow of doubt over the legitimacy of the election results

5. Bongo was declared the winner on 29 August.

6. Albert Ondo Ossa, who came second in the elections, alleged electoral irregularities.

7. Ondo Ossa, just two hours before the polls closed,  denounced “fraud orchestrated by the Bongo camp.”

8. He had already claimed victory and urged Bongo to facilitate a peaceful transfer of power based on his own purported vote count.

9. The election result was annulled following the coup d’état

10. The military-led coup ousted the re-elected president, Ali Bongo Ondimba.

11. Following the announcement of the coup, celebrations broke out in the streets of Libreville.

12. The coup occurred just minutes after Bongo’s re-election was declared at 3:30 AM WAT by the Gabonese electoral commission with 64.27% of the vote.

13. There has been no comment from the government of Gabon, which is a member of the oil producer group OPEC.

14. No reports on the whereabouts of Bongo, who was last seen in public casting his vote in the vote on Saturday.

15. The coup is the eighth in West and Central Africa since 2020.

16. The latest one, in Niger, was in July.

17. Military officers have also seized power in Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso and Chad.

18. Bongo’s family has ruled the oil producing but poor nation for 56 years.

19. His detractors say he has done little to channel its oil and other wealth towards the population of some 2.3 million people, a third of whom live in poverty.

20. In a speech delivered on the country’s Independence Day on 17 August, Bongo, a close ally of France, insisted that he would not allow Gabon to be subjected to “destabilization”, referring to the other coups.

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