In a surprising turn of events, a group of army officers in Gabon has taken control of the country’s government, declaring the annulment of the recent election results. The election, which had declared President Ali Bongo as the winner, has faced criticism from the opposition, who claimed it was marred by fraud. The military officers appeared on national television, announcing their takeover and citing concerns over the nation’s stability.
The electoral commission had earlier announced that President Ali Bongo had secured nearly two-thirds of the votes, ensuring his continued rule in a country where his family has held power for over five decades. However, the opposition vehemently contested the results, alleging irregularities and manipulation.
Twelve soldiers, representing the group behind the coup attempt, appeared on Gabon 24 TV to declare the cancellation of the election results and the dissolution of “all the institutions of the republic.” Their spokesperson emphasized their commitment to restoring peace and stability to the nation, citing grievances related to governance issues that had led to a decline in social cohesion.
The situation in Gabon remains fluid and tense as the military asserts its control. President Ali Bongo, who came to power in 2009 after the passing of his father, Omar Bongo, faced significant challenges during his tenure. A stroke in 2018 incapacitated him for nearly a year, prompting calls for his resignation due to concerns over his ability to lead effectively.
This is not the first time Gabon has experienced a coup attempt. In the preceding year, a failed mutiny by soldiers also aimed to overthrow the government. The participants in that failed coup were subsequently imprisoned.
The international community is closely watching the unfolding situation in Gabon, with neighboring nations and global entities expressing concern over the sudden shift in power and its potential implications for the region. As the country navigates through this political turmoil, questions about its future trajectory and leadership linger, casting a shadow over its longstanding political landscape.
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