In a shocking turn of events, the military in Gabon has announced the takeover of power through a televised broadcast. This move comes following the controversial results of the recent presidential election, which declared incumbent President Ali Bongo as the winner. However, the opposition argued that the election was fraudulent.
Annulling Election Results
The army, consisting of twelve soldiers, declared that they were annulling the election results and dissolving “all the institutions of the republic.” President Ali Bongo has been placed under house arrest, and one of his sons has been arrested for treason.
The soldiers also announced the closure of the country’s borders “until further notice” and revealed that the presidency would be assumed by Gen Brice Oligui Nguema, the head of the presidential guard.
This development marks a significant political upheaval in Gabon, which has been under the Bongo family’s rule for 53 years.
Concerns and International Reactions
This coup in Gabon is the eighth such event in former French colonies in Africa over the past three years. It has sparked concerns about political stability in the region.
France, Gabon’s former colonial ruler, has condemned the takeover, urging respect for the election results. Russia and China have also expressed their concerns, while the European Union’s foreign policy chief warned that a military takeover would increase instability in Africa.
French mining group Eramet, which operates in Gabon, has suspended its activities in the country due to security concerns.
Gabon’s Turbulent Electoral History
The recent election in Gabon was marred by controversy, with allegations of irregularities. Opposition candidate Albert Ondo Ossa raised concerns about missing ballot papers bearing his name, and the coalition he represents claimed that names of withdrawn candidates remained on the ballot sheet.
Reporters Without Borders reported that foreign media were banned from covering the election. Moreover, last-minute changes to voting papers just weeks before the election added to the contentious atmosphere.
Ali Bongo, who came to power in 2009 following his father’s death, has faced opposition and calls for his resignation due to health issues and previous election disputes.
The situation in Gabon remains fluid, with reports of gunfire in the capital and uncertainty about how this coup will unfold. The international community will closely watch the developments in this oil-rich African nation. 🇬🇦🔒 #GabonCrisis #PoliticalUnrest
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