Military Leaders Declare Coup In Central African Nation, Vow To ‘Dissolve All Institutions Of The Republic’
Gabon Coup
Photo by Gabon National Television/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Top military leaders from Gabon, a central African nation, declared a coup on Wednesday shortly after the country re-elected its president in what’s been called a fraudulent election.

Military officers declared the coup on state television Wednesday just hours after the country declared President Ali Bongo Ondimba – whose family has ruled Gabon for over 50 years – the winner of the disputed election. Bongo was detained on Wednesday and placed under house arrest. The unrest follows a string of similar actions taken in other African countries and would mark the eighth coup in the region since 2020 if successful, according to Reuters.

“Today the country is undergoing a severe institutional, political, economic, and social crisis,” the military officers said in a video message announcing the attempted coup. “On behalf of the Gabonese people and guarantor of the protection of institutions, CTRI [the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions] has decided to defend peace by putting an end to the regime in place,” an officer added.

During the address, the mutinous officers said that Bongo had been placed under house arrest and that the results of the election had been “canceled.” In an address of his own, Bongo said that he was being detained in his residence while his wife and son were taken to separate locations.

The coup leaders also arrested Bongo’s inner circle, alleging “high betrayal of state institutions, massive embezzlement of public funds (and) international financial embezzlement,” according to the Associated Press.

“Nothing is happening, I don’t know what’s going on,” Bongo said, calling on his supporters to “make noise.” Despite the call to action from Bongo, the demonstrations appeared to be in support of the military coup, with crowds celebrating in the streets and thanking the army, the AP reports.

Gen. Brice Oligui Nguema, head of the Republican Guard unit which is tasked with protecting the president, was named the leader of the military junta and transitional government; Oligui is reportedly the cousin of Bongo. Following the address, footage shows the military leader being paraded through the streets while fellow soldiers cheered and civilians shouted “freedom,” according to The New York Times.

On Wednesday, Bongo was named the winner of the country’s presidential election, which took place on Saturday, garnering 65% of the vote, according to The New York Times. The election was widely viewed as fraudulent within Gabon due to voting delays, a lack of international election observers, foreign broadcasts being suspended, and the government cutting internet service for days following the vote.


Shortly after Bongo was declared the winner, gunfire could be heard in the capital of Libreville, followed by the television address announcing the coup by 12 officers, according to the Times. The group behind the coup refers to themselves as the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions, and they vowed to “dissolve all institutions of the republic” during their address.

“There was discontent in Gabon,” Oligui told Le Monde, a French newspaper. “So the army decided to turn the page and do something.”

In 1960, the country gained independence from France. Bongo’s father, Omar Bongo Ondimba, became president in 1967, and Ali Bongo was elected after the elder Bongo’s death in 2009. During his two terms, he has been accused of corruption, and survived a previous coup attempt in 2019.

Even though Gabon is an oil-rich country, roughly one-third of the country’s population lives in poverty, according to the BBC.

This past December, Bongo visited Washington where he met with President Joe Biden at the White House, Today News Africa reported. Following the news of the coup, White House national security spokesman John Kirby called the events “deeply concerning,” and said the U.S. will “remain a supporter of the people in the region, a supporter of the people of Gabon and of their demand for democratic governance.”

Last month, military leaders in Niger seized power and installed General Abdourahmane Tchiani as president.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Military Leaders Declare Coup In Central African Nation, Vow To ‘Dissolve All Institutions Of The Republic’