A group of high-ranking military officials in Gabon took to television on Wednesday to declare that the results of the nation’s most recent election were invalid due to a lack of credibility.
The action was taken after the state electoral commission announced that President Ali Bongo would be returning for a third term.
The officers declared, “In the name of the Gabonese people, we have decided to defend the peace by overthrowing the present regime.”
The announcement on the Gabon 24 TV channel was made on behalf of an organisation going by the name of “Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions.”
The officers proclaimed the collapse of “all the institutions of the republic,” claiming to speak for all of Gabon’s security and defence forces.
They sought to restore peace by overthrowing the incumbent leadership and cited “irresponsible, unpredictable governance” as the justification for their participation.
Also, the group declared that “borders are closed until further notice.”
Meanwhile, tensions have escalated since Saturday’s election, where Bongo aimed to continue his family’s 55-year rule amid opposition calls for change in the resource-rich but impoverished nation.
Concerns about the vote’s transparency grew due to the absence of international observers, suspension of foreign broadcasts, and a nationwide internet blackout and curfew imposed by authorities.
On the state radio in 2019, troops said that they had “formed a national restoration council” to unseat President Ali Bongo.
After military forces stormed the station and captured eight conspirators and killed two others, the coup attempt lasted for less than a week.
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