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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Gabon. Coup. Military statement after the presidential election

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A group of senior officers announced on television that they had taken power in Gabon. This happened after the announcement of the results of the presidential elections, in which 64-year-old Aloe Bongo was elected for a third term. The whereabouts of the president are unknown.

In oil-rich Gabon, citizens voted on Saturday elections presidential, parliamentary and local. President Aloe Bongo, who was running for a third, seven-year term, won the presidential election. The 64-year-old politician has been in power since 2009. He took power from his father, who ruled for over 40 years.

Bongo’s main rival, Albert Ondo Ossa, received support of 30 percent of the votes. The opposition claimed that the elections were rigged. Doubts were raised by the introduction of a curfew and the suspension of internet access after the closure of polling stations.

The military declares that they are taking over power and want to “defend peace”

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Reuters reported that a few minutes after Bongo’s victory was announced (with support at 64.27 percent of the vote), a group of twelve senior military officers announced on television that they were taking power because “on behalf of the people of Gabon” they wanted to “defend peace.”

The military stated that they act on behalf of the national armed forces. They announced the annulment of the elections, the dissolution of state institutions and the closure of the country’s borders “until further notice”.

One of the soldiers explained on Gabon 24 television that “they decided to defend peace by putting an end to the current regime.” He argued that this was due to “irresponsible and unpredictable management”.

Shots were heard in the capital of the country, Libreville, after the announcement of the announcement. According to a Reuters reporter, “hundreds of people” took to the streets to celebrate the announcement of the takeover of power.

Gabon’s military announced a coup d’étatReuters

Reactions in Europe. “A serious problem”

The government has so far not responded to the military statement. The whereabouts of President Bongo are also unknown.

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said her country was closely following the situation in Gabon. Head of EU diplomacy Josep Borrell he noted that a military takeover of power there would increase instability in Africa. “This is a serious problem for Europe,” he admitted.

Located in central Africa, Gabon is one of the continent’s largest oil producers. Almost 90 percent of the country’s area is covered by forests.

The mining and metallurgical company Eramet, which employs thousands of people in Gabon, has already said it has suspended work in the country for security reasons.

The coast at LibrevilleShutterstock

The BBC noted that if the coup in Gabon goes ahead, it would be the eighth coup d’état in former French colonies in Africa in the last three years, although most of these countries are located in the north of the continent, in the Sahel region. In early August, the junta of Niger overthrew democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum.

Sahel countriesPAP

Main photo source: Reuters



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