A group of military officers making up the so-called Committee for the Transition and Restoration of the Institutions of Gabon seized power Wednesday in the African country, announcing the end to the current regime through a TV broadcast. The rebels also said they had dissolved all government institutions and annulled last Saturday's elections.
The Committee explained the decision had been taken to defend peace in the country in the face of the deterioration of social cohesion and warned that all borders would remain closed until further notice.
The military's announcement came hours after the electoral authority announced the re-election of President Ali Bongo Ondimba, with 64.27 % of the votes in Saturday's elections.
According to foreign correspondents, sounds of gunfire have been recorded in Libreville, the capital of the African country.
Bongo, who survived an attempted military takeover in January 2019 as he was recovering from a stroke, first took office in 2009 after the death of his father, Omar Bongo, who had ruled since 1967.
Saturday’s elections were heavily questioned for their perceived lack of transparency, followed by Bongo’s government curtailing internet service and imposing a curfew, citing the need to prevent the spread of misinformation.
Wednesday's events came after last month’s military overthrow of President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger, the latest in a series of coups across West and Central Africa since 2020.