Gabonese military officials declare assumption of power

In the early hours of Wednesday, a faction of senior Gabonese military officers took to national airwaves to announce their assumption of power, shortly after the state election commission declared President Ali Bongo the winner of a third term.

Addressing the nation via Gabon 24, the officers asserted that they were representing all security and defense forces within the Central African country. In a sweeping move, they declared the nullification of the election results, the temporary closure of borders, and the dissolution of state institutions until further notice.

Amid their televised statement, audible gunfire reverberated through the streets of the capital, Libreville, as reported by a correspondent from Reuters present in the area.

Reuters reports that the government of the OPEC-member nation has not provided an immediate response to this unexpected development. Meanwhile, information regarding the whereabouts of President Ali Bongo remained scarce; he was last seen publicly casting his vote during the election held on Saturday.

“On behalf of the Gabonese people… we have resolved to safeguard peace by bringing an end to the present administration,” expressed the officers collectively in a formal statement.

While one officer vocalized the joint communiqué, a group of approximately twelve others stood in stoic silence behind him, clad in military attire and berets.

These servicemen identified themselves as members of The Committee of Transition and the Restoration of Institutions. Notably, the dissolved state entities encompassed the government, the senate, the national assembly, the constitutional court, and the election commission.