Gabon army officers announce they have seized power

Gabon army officers in coup attempt days after elections

President Ali Bongo Ondimba, who has been in power for 14 years, won a third term at the weekend

A group of senior Gabonese military officers appeared on television in the early hours of Wednesday and said they had taken power, after the state election body announced President Ali Bongo Ondimba had won a third term.

The officers said they were closing Gabon’s borders until further notice and dissolving state institutions.

The announcement on the Gabon 24 channel came shortly after the Gabonese Elections Centre declared that Mr Ondimba, who has been in power for 14 years, had won a third term in elections held on Saturday.

“We have decided to defend peace by putting an end to the current regime,” said one of the officers.

He said 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 said.

“All the institutions of the republic are dissolved – the government, the Senate, the National Assembly and the Constitutional Court,” the officer added.

Gabon’s government announced a nationwide curfew and cut off internet access on Saturday evening as voting in major national elections for new local leaders, national legislators and the next president was wrapping up.

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