Mutinous soldiers in Gabon said Wednesday they were seizing power to overturn the results of a presidential election, and claimed to have arrested the president, whose family has held power for 55 years.
The coup attempt came hours after the central African country’s President Ali Bongo Ondimba, 64, was declared winner of an election marred by fears of violence.
They said they had annulled the results of Saturday’s election in which Mr Bongo was declared the winner, but the opposition claimed it was fraudulent.
Later, they announced that Mr Bongo would be replaced by the head of the presidential guard, Gen Brice Oligui Nguema, who was earlier carried triumphantly through the streets of the capital Libreville.
They said that from Thursday, “the people of Gabon will once again be free to go about their business between 6am and 6pm” – but traffic restrictions would remain in place for now.
Mr Bongo’s overthrow would end his family’s 55-year hold on power in Gabon.
The country is one of Africa’s major oil producers, while nearly 90% of it is covered by forests. It joined the Commonwealth in June 2022, becoming one of the group’s few members not to have been a British colony.
From The Shadows Emerges Knowledge