Gabon officers make coup attempt after Ali Bongo wins another election

DAKAR, Senegal — A bunch of senior navy officers in Gabon stated Wednesday they had been seizing energy on this central African nation, overturning the outcomes of a disputed presidential election shortly after the electoral committee introduced that President Ali Bongo had received another time period.

The Bongo household has led Gabon, an oil-rich nation with a inhabitants of about 2 million, for greater than 55 years and has been accused by critics of abusing its place to build up large quantities of wealth. In a video on state tv, the senior officers declared that borders had been closed and state establishments together with the Senate, National Assembly and Constitutional Court dissolved.

“In the name of the Gabonese people … we have decided to defend the peace by putting an end to the current regime,” one officer stated, studying a joint assertion on nationwide tv, surrounded by a couple of dozen others in navy fatigues. “We call on the population for calm and serenity.”

Military mutiny in Niger comes after string of coups throughout area

Gunfire was reported within the capital, Libreville, minutes after the coup was declared, in accordance with media reviews.

Gabon’s obvious coup marks the most recent in a outstanding string of mutinies in West and Central Africa, together with the latest navy takeover in Niger, which turned a purple line for democratically elected West African leaders. Since 2021, there have additionally been coups in Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Chad and Sudan.

In Gabon, the officers known as themselves the “Committee of the Transition and the Restoration of Institutions” and stated that “irresponsible, unpredictable governance” had resulted in a deterioration of social cohesion. The officers stated within the video that they revered Gabon’s “commitments to the international community.”

Neither Bongo nor his authorities reacted to the information early Wednesday, and the president’s whereabouts weren’t instantly clear.

Bongo, who was elected in 2009, and his father Omar Bongo, who dominated for 41 years earlier than that, had been key allies to France, Gabon’s former colonial energy, in a area by which anti-French sentiment is rising more and more prevalent. As not too long ago as June, Bongo had met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.

In comparability with Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, the place coups had been fueled by fears over spiraling violence linked to Islamic extremism, Gabon is peaceable and was seen as comparatively steady. But latest elections, together with the Aug. 26 vote by which Bongo received a 3rd time period, have been marred by violence and allegations of rigging.

In 2019, Gabon’s authorities foiled an tried coup towards its president.

Gabon foils coup attempt towards absent president

The European Union’s international coverage chief, Josep Borrell, stated Wednesday that the bloc’s international ministers would talk about the developments in Gabon, which he famous had been a part of a “very difficult situation” within the area, together with Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.

“The ministers,” he stated at a gathering of E.U. protection ministers in Toledo, Spain, “have to have a deep thought on what is going on there and how we can improve our policy in respect to these countries … This is a big issue for Europe.”

Bisset reported from London.

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