GABON MILITARY COUP: HERE’S WHAT WE KNOW
Military personnel who took control in Gabon in a coup on Wednesday appointed Gen. Brice Oligui Nguema as the country’s interim leader.
His troops had previously triumphantly paraded Gen. Nguema through the streets of Libreville.
Ali Bongo, the ousted president, appeared in a video at his residence, urging his “friends all over the world” to “make noise” on his behalf.
According to a news statement given out on Gabon 24, “General Oligui Nguema Brice was unanimously appointed chairman of the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions, chairman of the transition,” said an officer in the presence of other senior officers.
With Gabon, the number of African nations under military administration has risen to seven in the previous two years. The others are Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Sudan, and Niger.
As the deposed Ali Bongo cried out for help, President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria, the United Nations, the European Union, the AU: Commonwealth, the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, and France all condemned the coup.
HOW DID THE COUP HAPPEN?
The military’s power grab started on Wednesday, just after Gabon’s electoral authority announced that Bongo had been re-elected president after the poll last weekend.
On national television, men dressed in army uniforms declared they had taken control of the state. They claimed that the election results were null and illegitimate, that all borders had been closed, and that various government entities, including both houses of parliament, had been dissolved.
The coup leaders claim that Bongo is under house arrest and surrounded by “family and doctors.” Noureddin Bongo Valentin, the son of the deposed president, was detained along with six others for “high treason.”
The Agence France-Presse news agency released a video showing Bongo sitting in what seems to be a library, stating he was “at the residence” and had no idea what was going on. “My son is somewhere; my wife is in another place,” he said.
It was not immediately obvious under what conditions the footage had been shot.
On Wednesday, Oligui told the French daily Le Monde that Bongo had “all his rights” as a “normal Gabonese” citizen.
Tinubu speaks on Gabon coup
The president of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu, claims that “autocratic contagion” is spreading over the continent. He also said that he’s dedicated to cooperating with other heads of state to safeguard democracy.
Mr. Tinubu made this remark in his initial response to the Gabon coup on Wednesday, according to a statement by his spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale.
According to a Nigerian Newspaper, military officials in Gabon seized control of the nation in central Africa because the weekend elections had been fraudulent. They locked the nation’s borders, abolished all governmental institutions, and canceled the elections.
Mr. Ngelale added in his statement that President Tinubu is “watching developments unfolding in Gabon very closely and with deep concern for the country’s socio-political stability.”
Mr. Tinubu has been hesitant to support the ECOWAS heads of government’s authorization to use force to restore constitutional order in neighboring Niger. He is spearheading ECOWAS attempts to overthrow the coup.