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Gabon coup: This shouldn’t be mistaken for individuals energy | World Information

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One other day, one other coup on the continent.

Chad, Sudan, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and now Gabon.

Gunfire was heard in Libreville moments after President Ali Bongo, the ruler for 14 years, had his re-election success introduced on Wednesday morning.

Hours later, military officers took to state television to sentence the disputed election, declare their takeover and dissolve the federal government.

Shortly afterward, their former ruler appeared in a video message from home arrest interesting for world intervention. It’s laborious to not discover the opulent interiors behind him, glimmering below the mushy however vibrant yellow lighting.

Gabon President Ali Bongo Ondimba is below home arrest in Libreville. Pic: AP

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Gabonese military appear on television as they announce they have seized power. Pic: AP
Gabonese navy seem on tv as they announce they’ve seized energy. Pic: AP

The Bongo household has held energy in Gabon since 1967. The ousted president is the third the nation has seen since its independence from France in 1960.

His father Omar Bongo was Gabon’s second president and held energy for 42 years till his loss of life in 2009.

The 2009 election that transferred energy from father to son was marred in controversy and allegations of fraud. Bongo’s re-election in 2016 was additionally closely disputed.

Now, his newest contested victory to safe a 3rd time period in workplace has backfired and damaged his successful streak.

Because the web shutdown that marked the elections was lifted within the wake of the coup, movies surfaced of younger males celebrating on the streets of Libreville. Residents describe a way of aid and jubilation – liberation from the Bongo cycle of dominance.

“Individuals be happy from years of dwelling with the Bongos, throughout COVID and thru financial collapse. You possibly can actually see how the wealthy have been getting richer and the poor getting poorer,” says one Libreville resident who has chosen to remain nameless for her security.

“Even should you go round Libreville, there are such a lot of individuals with out electrical energy and water. Persons are actually fed up with the scenario and would attempt to protest, simply to say they want water, and the navy would cease them immediately,” she added.

Learn extra:
What is happening in Gabon and who is Ali Bongo?
Niger coup shows how pendulum is swinging to Russian-backed autocracy

People celebrate on the streets of Libreville following the coup
Individuals have fun on the streets of Libreville following the coup

Gabon soldiers hold a general aloft after the coup. Pic: AP
Gabon troopers maintain transition chief Basic Brice Nguema aloft after the coup. Pic: AP

That very same navy is now posturing as an equalising pressure for freedom. A junta headed up by none apart from Bongo’s cousin and head of the Gabonese presidency’s Republican Guard, Brice Nguema. A person who’s dealing with the identical allegations of corruption and cash laundering as his cousin.

Most of the coups we’re seeing throughout Africa are pushed by inner politics and opportunism – fuelled by energy struggles between civilian elite and navy elite, after which posturing off public dissatisfaction and poverty.

Whether or not it’s the dynastic coups of the Debys in Chad, the long-time presidential guards in Niger or Omar al-Bashir’s henchmen in Sudan – these navy coups can’t be mistaken for individuals energy. They’re nothing greater than a change of clothes.

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