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Gabon. The junta that overthrew the president appointed an interim head of state

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Reuters – based on reports from Gabonese state television – reported that the military junta that carried out a coup in Gabon on Wednesday and overthrew the president had appointed a temporary head of state – General Brice Oligui Nguema.

On Wednesday morning, the military in Gabon announced that the current president of Gabon, Ali Bongo Ondimba, was under house arrest. The deposed head of state appealed to his supporters to “make noise” in his defense.

– Me and my family were arrested. My son is in some place, my wife is in another place. Now I’m in the mansion and I don’t know what’s happening, Bongo said, turning to the camera while sitting on a chair in what is probably a lavishly furnished office.

Coup in Gabon

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A few hours earlier, just after the electoral commission announced that Bongo, who had been in office for two terms, had won elections presidential elections, a group of officers announced via television that they were taking power in the country, invalidating the elections, closing the borders and dissolving a number of state institutions.

A military junta staged a coup in GabonSTR/PAP/EPA

One of the president’s sons – Noureddin Bongo Valentin – was arrested. Several high-ranking officials and members of the presidential election team were also detained. The army accuses them of, among other things, treason, embezzlement, corruption and forging the president’s signature.

Ali Bongo took over in 2009 from his father Omar, who came to power in 1967, seven years after the country gained independence. Gabon, inhabited by two million people, with its capital in Libreville, belongs to OPEC and is the eighth oil producer in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Coups in Africa

The coup in Gabon was condemned by the Secretary-General UN Antonio Guterres. He called on the Gabonese military to “exercise restraint, engage in inclusive and meaningful dialogue and ensure full respect for the rule of law and human rights and to guarantee the safety of the president of the country and his family.

This is another coup d’etat carried out by the army in African countries recently. The last one took place on July 26 in Niger, where the junta took power, overthrowing the democratically elected, pro-Western president Mohamed Bazoum. Previously, power passed to the military in Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso and Chad.

Main photo source: STR/PAP/EPA

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