Gabon Military Seizes Power Over Central African Regime

It was declared on national television that President Ali Bongo Ondimba’s administration in Gabon, central Africa, has ended.

The soldiers, calling themselves “The Committee of Transition and the Restoration of Institutions,” claimed they were compelled to address Gabon’s “serious institutional, political, economic, and social crisis” by placing Bongo under house arrest and putting the country “on the road to happiness.” They also accused him of holding a fraudulent election on August 26.

The government, the Senate, the National Assembly, the Constitutional Court, the Economic, Social, and Environmental Council, and the Gabonese Elections Centre were all disbanded. There was no indication in the speech of who the next president would be or whether or not free and fair elections would be held shortly.

After Bongo shut down the public’s access to the internet in advance of this weekend’s election, the military has now made it available again. On Sunday’s election, Bongo purportedly received 64.27 percent of the vote, making him the victor. After France 24, Radio France Internationale, and TV5 Monde were accused of a “lack of impartiality,” Bongo ordered their broadcasts to be halted and the internet turned off nationwide. The action was widely panned across the world.

The coup attempt in Gabon is the sixth in Africa since 2020. If the “Committee of Transition and the Restoration of Institutions” successfully keeps power, the nation will be ruled by a military junta like Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea, and Niger.

Late in July, a coup took place in Niger, and the country’s democratically elected president, Mohamed Bazoum, is still being held under house arrest.

Even Bongo has been placed under house arrest. In a video, he assured everyone that he was well, but he also expressed concern for his loved ones’ whereabouts and safety. After the coup was announced, reports of gunfire in several parts of Libreville were made.

Bongo is a staunch friend of the Chinese Communist Party, having just visited Beijing and signed Gabon up for Beijing’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Alarmingly, the Chinese Communist Party stated in response to the coup, urging all parties in Gabon to act following the core interests of the nation and the people, to settle conflicts via discussion, and to quickly return to normalcy.