Gabon coup – live: Military says president Ali Bongo under house arrest after ‘seizing power’
Gabon’s coup leaders say they have placed president Ali Bongo on house arrest after claiming to have seized control of the country following the incumbent’s disputed election win.
Military leaders added that other members of Bongo’s government had been detained – hours after officials announced the president had won a third term in office.
Earlier the officers, who claimed to represent all the Central African state’s security and defence forces, declared that the results of the election had been cancelled.
All borders were closed until further notice and state institutions were dissolved, the group said on TV station Gabon 24. Just minutes after the statement gunfire could be heard ringing out in the capital Libreville.
President Bongo’s family has ruled the country that produces oil and manganese for more than half a century.
There was no immediate comment from the government of Gabon, which is a member of the oil producer group OPEC, and there were no immediate reports on the whereabouts of Bongo, who was last seen in public casting his vote on Saturday.
- Military claims to have seized power
- Ali Bongo wins disputed presidential election
- President under arrest – coup leaders
- Gun fire heard in capital Libreville
President on house arrest – coup leaders
Coup leaders in Gabon’s military say president Bongo is under house arrest and that others in the government have been arrested.
Bongo is Gabon’s third president and has been in power since October 2009.
He is a member of the Gabonese Democratic Party.
Hundreds celebrate military coup
Hundreds of people celebrated in the centre of Gabon’s capital Libreville on Wednesday, a Reuters reporter said, after a group of senior military officers said they had seized power.
Pictures also appeared to show people celebrating in Akanda, a city about 32 km northwest of the capital Libreville.
People were seen holding the Gabon national flag aloft while dancing and cheering.
- Senior military officers in Gabon have appeared on national TV to say they have seized power and placed President Ali Bongo under house arrest
- They also announced they were annulling the results of an election on Saturday, in which President Bongo was declared the winner
- The officers also said they were dissolving all state institutions, and that the country’s borders were shut
- In a later appearance, they nominated the head of the presidential guard as the leader of the transition
- Bongo’s overthrow would end his family’s 56-year hold on power in the resource-rich West African country
- This would be the eighth coup in former French colonies in Africa in the past three years; France has condemned the latest events
- President Bongo, 64, is under house arrest, surrounded by his family and doctors, military officers have said on national TV in the last few minutes
- Soldiers also said one of the leader’s sons was under arrest for “treason”
- They added that they had put forward the head of the presidential guard as the leader of the transition
- In an earlier appearance on national TV, soldiers said they were cancelling the result of the election which saw President Bongo – whose family has been in power for more than half a century
- Former colonial power France has voiced its concern over the situation, as have China and Russia – countries which both have modern-day influence in central and west Africa
- If confirmed, this would be the eighth coup in former French colonies in Africa in the past three years.