Military officials in Gabon have made an appearance on national television to announce their coup, bringing an end to the 53-year regin of power held by president Ali Bongo family.
The coup in the oil-rich Central African said the Saturday’s election results in which Mr Bongo was declared the winner would be voided, adding that they represent all Gabon’s security and defence forces.
The 12 military officers who appeared on national broadcast states that the president has been put to house arrest, adding that the country’s borders would be closed until further notice.
In a video circulating on social media, citizens could be seen dancing and jubilating, as loud sounds of gunfire could be heard in the capital Libreville.
A military officer said on the broadcast that, “On behalf of the Gabonese people and guarantor of the protection of institutions, CTRI [the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions] has decided to defend peace by putting an end to the regime in place.”
The military annulled the Saturday elections in which Ali Bongo was declared the winner, stating lack of credibility.
“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.
We call on the population of Gabon, the communities of neighboring countries living in Gabon, as well as the Gabonese diaspora, to remain calm,” the officer said.
The 64-year-old was sworn in as the President of Gabon in 2009.
The ousted president, Ali Bongo Ondimba is the son of former president Omar Bongo, who ruled Gabon for almost 42 years, from 1967 until his death in 2009.
“Gabon becomes the eighth African country where the military has had significant influence in recent years. Apart from Sudan, all other countries currently under military rule – Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Comoros, Niger and Chad – are Francophone countries.”