Shocking Twist: Gabon’s Military Takes Charge, President Bongo Placed Under House Arrest! What’s Next?

Gabon’s Military Officials Declare Coup, President Under House Arrest Gabonese military officers have announced their takeover of power from President Ali Bongo Ondimba, marking a significant coup that challenges the decades-long rule of the Bongo family over the nation in central Africa.

Gabon's military officers declare coup
Army officers appeared on TV to say they had taken power in Gabon. (Photo:-twitter)

Soldiers dressed in military attire made a televised appearance on Wednesday, revealing the president’s confinement to his residence due to the military’s control. This sudden change in leadership sparked celebrations within the country and led to reports of gunfire echoing through the capital. However, international communities have expressed their disapproval of these events.

An unidentified spokesperson for the junta announced on state television this Wednesday morning that Ali Bongo Ondimba is currently under house arrest, drawing attention from both national and international communities. The former president is in the company of his family and medical personnel, as per the spokesperson’s statement.

Subsequently, the junta’s representative disclosed that an inquiry will be initiated into allegations against Nourredin Bongo Valentin, the president’s son, who, along with six other individuals, has been apprehended on charges of ‘high treason.’

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Gabon Coup:- Ali Bongo urging his friends to take action

A video released by the Agence France-Presse (AFP) showed the president urging his ‘friends’ to take action, subsequent to his confinement at home. He mentioned that his son and wife are in different locations.

“I am currently at the residence,” Bongo remarked, sitting in what appears to be a library. “Nothing is happening; I don’t know what’s going on.”

The circumstances surrounding the creation of the film were not immediately evident.

In the meantime, AFP shared video clips of soldiers in the capital city of Libreville rejoicing in support of coup leader General Brice Oligui Nguema. He was observed being lifted by military personnel, with cheers of “president” resonating in the air.

Oligui informed the French newspaper Le Monde that a gathering of military generals is scheduled for Wednesday to choose a leader for the power transition. He clarified that he has not yet proclaimed himself as the new head of state in Gabon.

He mentioned that President Ali Bongo Ondimba, also recognized as Ali Bongo, has been categorized as “retired” and is currently relishing all the rights of a typical Gabonese citizen. He declined to verify whether the president is under house arrest, a claim put forth by the junta spokesperson. Earlier, Ali Bongo had been declared the winner of a contested election.

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The officers, asserting to represent the nation’s “defense and security forces,” disclosed this information through a televised announcement on the Gabon24 news channel.

Gunfire echoes reverberated across the capital city of Libreville, as reported by a correspondent from Reuters, following the televised appearance.

The streets of Gabon’s capital witnessed exuberant dancing and jubilant celebrations among its citizens.

Willy Nyamitwe, the head of the African Union’s Peace and Security Council, organized an emergency meeting with envoys from Burundi, Cameroon, and Senegal in response to the coup.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the African Union relayed that Moussa Faki Mahamat, the president of its commission, denounced the overthrow and urged the coup instigators to “reestablish democratic constitutional order.”

Global disapproval began to emerge. France censured the “ongoing military coup d’état in Gabon,” as stated by government spokesperson Olivier Veran during a press briefing on Wednesday.

The US Embassy recommended that its citizens in the capital find shelter, while the French foreign ministry advised French nationals in Gabon to be cautious and consider limiting their travel.

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Know about the long rule of Bongo

In the earlier hours of Wednesday, the electoral body in Gabon announced that Bongo had secured victory in the presidential election with 64.27% of the vote, as reported by Reuters. This declaration came after a general election fraught with delays, criticized by the opposition as marred by fraud.

Albert Ondo Ossa, Bongo’s primary rival, attained second place with 30.77%, according to the electoral body’s pronouncement. Bongo’s team dismissed Ondo Ossa’s claims of electoral improprieties.

Ali Bongo, aged 64, assumed leadership from his father, Omar Bongo, who passed away in 2009 due to a heart attack while undergoing treatment for intestinal cancer at a Spanish clinic. Omar Bongo had governed for nearly 42 years.

Taking office in 1967, seven years after the nation’s independence from France, the senior Bongo exercised firm control, establishing a single-party system that persisted for years. It wasn’t until 1991 that multi-party governance was permitted, although his party retained its influence over the government.

Ali Bongo initiated his political journey in 1981, occupying roles such as foreign minister and congressman from 1989 to 1991, according to information from the Gabonese embassy in the US. He served as defense minister from 1999 and subsequently assumed the presidency in 2009.

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