LIBREVILLE, Gabon – A group of senior military officers in Gabon has declared a coup following the controversial presidential election results. Appearing on the national television channel Gabon 24, nearly a dozen soldiers announced that they were seizing power in the Central African nation, citing concerns over the election outcome and the direction of the country.
In a startling announcement, the officers declared the cancellation of the election results, the closure of all borders until further notice, and the dissolution of state institutions. The soldiers asserted that their actions were undertaken in the name of the Gabonese people, with the aim of defending peace and ending the current regime.
The coup announcement was accompanied by reports of gunfire in the capital, Libreville, adding to the tension and uncertainty surrounding the situation.
The presidential election, which took place on Saturday, saw incumbent President Ali Bongo declared the winner with 64% of the vote. However, opposition groups raised concerns about the electoral process, alleging irregularities and fraud.
Gabon, a country with significant oil reserves and vast forested areas, has been ruled by the Bongo family for over five decades. Ali Bongo took office in 2009 following the death of his father, Omar Bongo, who had been in power since 1967.
Tensions had been mounting in Gabon in the lead-up to the election, with opposition candidate Albert Ondo Ossa and his coalition raising allegations of irregularities, including issues with the ballot papers. Additionally, foreign media had reported restrictions on covering the election, further raising concerns about transparency.
This coup marks a significant development in the political landscape of Gabon and could lead to a period of uncertainty and potential unrest. The government’s response and the international community’s reaction will be closely monitored as the situation unfolds.