Gabonese military officers declare takeover of power

A group of prominent Gabonese military officials took to national television, asserting that they had assumed control, subsequent to the declaration by the state election commission that President Ali Bongo had secured a third term.

Appearing on the television channel Gabon 24, the officers declared themselves as representatives of the entirety of the security and defense forces within the Central African nation and went on to declare the nullification of the election outcomes, closure of all borders until further notice, and the dissolution of state institutions.

There was no immediate comment from the government of the OPEC-member nation.

“In the name of the Gabonese people … we have decided to defend the peace by putting an end to the current regime,” the officers said.

As tensions escalated, concerns about potential turmoil grew following the presidential, parliamentary, and legislative elections held on Saturday.

During the run-up to the elections, Bongo aimed to prolong his family’s 56-year control over power, while the opposition advocated for transformation in the resource-rich yet economically challenged nation known for its oil and cocoa production.

The absence of international observers, the suspension of certain foreign broadcasts, and the implementation of measures like cutting off internet access and enforcing a nationwide night-time curfew after the election had sparked worries regarding the openness and fairness of the electoral proceedings.

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