Gabon: Ali Bongo Calls For Help After Military Coup

Gabon’s former president, Ali Bongo Ondimba, has called on his “friends all over the world to make noise” while under house arrest following the country’s coup. An unnamed source’s footage shows Bongo distraught and pleading for help.

“I’m Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of Gabon and I’m to send a message to all the friends that we have, all over the world to tell them to make noise, to make noise, for the people here have arrested me and my family. My son is somewhere, my wife is in another place and I’m at the residence” Bongo said.

“Right now, I’m under residence (arrest, ed.) and nothing happening, and nothing is happening, I don’t know what… what’s going on. So, I’m calling you to make noise, to make noise, to make noise really. I’m… I’m thanking you, thank you.” he concluded.

On Wednesday morning, military officers stated that they were overthrowing the government in an apparent coup against President Ali Bongo Ondimba, who has been in power for 14 years and whose re-election was recently announced. For nearly 55 years, his family has dominated the oil-rich African country.

During the officers’ televised announcement of the cancellation of the election results, one of the officers stated that “all the institutions of the republic” had been disbanded.

An officer read the address, who was surrounded by a dozen army colonels, members of the elite Republican Guard, regular soldiers, and others.

It came just moments after the national election authority announced that Bongo, 64, had won a third term with 64.27 percent of the vote in Saturday’s poll.

Following the death of his father, who had ruled the country for 41 years, Bongo was elected for the first time in 2009.

The statement came during an overnight curfew and a nationwide internet ban imposed by Bongo’s government as voting ended on Saturday to prevent the dissemination of “false news” and probable violence.

Internet was restored on Wednesday morning after the TV address.

“Today, the country is going through a serious institutional, political, economic and social crisis,” the officer said on TV channel Gabon 24.

He said the recent election “did not meet the conditions for a transparent, credible and inclusive ballot so much hoped for by the people of Gabon.”

“We have decided to defend peace by putting an end to the current regime,” the officer said, adding that he was speaking on behalf of the “Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions”.

“To this end, the general elections of 26 August 2023 and the truncated results are cancelled,” he added.

Written by PH

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