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What is occurring in Gabon and who’s Ali Bongo? | World Information

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Army leaders in Gabon have introduced a coup after president Ali Bongo was declared victorious within the nation’s presidential election.

The outcome, which might give him a 3rd time period in workplace and lengthen his household’s 55-year grip of energy on the nation, has been highly disputed.

However who’s Mr Bongo, who’s behind the coup and what’s taking place within the Central African nation?

This is what it’s essential know.

Who’s Ali Bongo?

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Ali Bongo’s household has held energy in Gabon for 55 years.

His father Omar Bongo was the nation’s president from 1967 till his loss of life in 2009.

Ali Bongo, 64, has dominated since then – however his takeover was not welcomed by many Gabonese who believed his success was right down to household connections.

“A spoilt youngster, born in Congo-Brazzaville, introduced up in France, hardly capable of converse indigenous languages and with the looks of a hip-hop star”, was how Burkina Faso newspaper L’Observateur Paalga described him.

Mr Bongo went to high school in France after which studied regulation on the Sorbonne in Paris. He entered politics after graduating, becoming a member of the Gabonese Democratic Get together in 1981.

Throughout his father’s presidency, Mr Bongo was minister of overseas affairs and minister of defence, and represented the city of Bongoville within the nation’s Nationwide Meeting.

The city, initially known as Lewai, was renamed after Omar Bongo, who was born there and massively expanded it throughout his presidency.

Mr Bongo was born Alain Bernard Bongo however modified his identify to Ali in 1973, when he and his father transformed to Islam.

In 1977 he launched a funk album titled A Model New Man, produced by James Brown’s former supervisor, Charles Bobbit.

Mr Bongo had a stroke in 2018 and spent months in a foreign country recovering.

Why has there been a coup try?

Mutinous troopers declared they have been seizing energy hours after it was introduced Mr Bongo had gained 64% of the presidential vote, giving him a 3rd time period in workplace.

Opposition teams argued the outcome was fraudulent.

Within the election, Mr Bongo confronted an opposition coalition led by economics professor and former schooling minister Albert Ondo Ossa, whose shock nomination got here every week earlier than the vote.

Gabonese navy seem on tv as they announce they’ve seized energy

Who introduced the coup?

A bunch of almost a dozen senior navy figures made the announcement on the nationwide TV channel Gabon 24.

They launched themselves as members of The Committee of Transition and the Restoration of Establishments and stated they represented all safety and defence forces in Gabon.

The group’s members have been drawn from the gendarme police drive, the republican guard and different parts of the safety forces.

What’s occurred in Gabon for the reason that tried coup?

The navy leaders stated election outcomes have been cancelled, all borders have been closed till additional discover, and state establishments dissolved.

Sounds of gunfire have been reported within the Gabonese capital Libreville on Wednesday morning, however there didn’t look like important indicators of unrest.

Crowds within the capital took to town’s streets to rejoice the tip of Mr Bongo’s reign, singing the nationwide anthem with troopers.

A military vehicle passes people celebrating in Port Gentil after soldiers announced a coup. Pic: Gaetan M-Antchouwet/Reuters
A navy car passes folks celebrating in Port-Gentil after troopers introduced a coup. Pic: Gaetan M-Antchouwet/Reuters

The place is Mr Bongo now?

Mr Bongo has been positioned beneath home arrest following the coup.

What is the historical past of elections and violence in Gabon?

Each vote held in Gabon for the reason that nation’s return to a multi-party system in 1990 has led to violence.

Clashes between authorities forces and protesters following the 2016 election killed 4 folks, in keeping with official figures, however opposition teams stated the true quantity killed was larger.

One other group of mutinous troopers attempted a coup in January 2019, whereas Mr Bongo was in Morocco recovering from a stroke. That rebellion was foiled when two of the suspected coup plotters have been killed and others arrested.

What about different coups in Africa?

The coup try happened one month after soldiers in Niger seized power from the democratically elected authorities.

It’s the newest in a collection of coups which have challenged governments with ties to France, the area’s former coloniser.

Gabon’s coup, if profitable would convey the variety of coups in West and Central Africa to eight since 2020.

In contrast to Niger and two different West African nations run by navy juntas, Gabon has not been wracked by jihadi violence and had been seen as comparatively secure.

In his annual Independence Day speech on 17 August, Mr Bongo stated: “Whereas our continent has been shaken in current weeks by violent crises, relaxation assured that I’ll by no means permit you and our nation Gabon to be hostages to makes an attempt at destabilisation. By no means.”

Will the coup have an effect on Europe?

The EU’s overseas coverage chief Josep Borrell stated if a coup was confirmed it might heap extra instability on Europe.

Talking at a gathering of EU defence ministers, he stated they’d focus on the state of affairs in Gabon.

“The entire space, beginning with Central African Republic, then Mali, then Burkina Faso, now Niger, perhaps Gabon, it is in a
very troublesome state of affairs and positively the ministers … should have a deep thought on what’s going on there and the way we will enhance our coverage in respect to those nations,” he stated.

“It is a large challenge for Europe,” he added.

France is following the state of affairs in Gabon very carefully, stated prime minister Elisabeth Borne on Wednesday, as she addressed a gathering of ambassadors in Paris.

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