OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
5:25 PM – Wednesday, August 30, 2023
In Gabon, where a government takeover is now taking place, President Ali Bongo Ondimba has been forcibly placed under house arrest.
The announcement follows the electoral commission of the African state’s proclamation that Bongo had won a third term. The officers, who claimed to represent the armed forces, reported Bongo’s house arrest during the military invasion.
“It is brought to the attention of the national and international community that Ali Bongo Ondimba is being kept under house arrest,” an unnamed junta spokesperson announced on state TV, also explaining that the evicted president is surrounded by his “family and doctors.”
A military junta is a government led by a committee of military leaders. The term junta means “meeting” or “committee.”
On Wednesday morning, military officers in Gabon declared on national television that they were seizing power from the 64-year-old leader.
Bongo was the third president of the oil-rich Central African nation, serving from 2009 to 2023.
He was also accused of cronyism and corruption in the country, which fueled public disappointment that has reportedly been simmering in the nation for years.
The military officer also mentioned in the broadcast that the election results would be invalidated and that Gabon’s borders would be closed.
Additionally, the officer stated that all organizations in the country had been shut down and he requested that all Gabonese people “remain calm.”
According to reports, the house arrest led to ongoing sounds of gunfire and vivacious celebrations on the streets of Libreville, the country’s capital, with many of the local residents hugging soldiers and cheering for the likelihood of Bongo’s presidency to finally come to an end.
Following the announcement of the house arrest, a representative for the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions (CTRI) stated that General Brice Oligui, the commander-in-chief of the Gabonese Republican Guard and a cousin of Bongo, had been “unanimously” selected as “president of the transition.”
Oligui explained to the French newspaper Le Monde that military generals were scheduled to have a meeting on Wednesday in order to choose a leader for the transition of power, indicating that he has not “yet” asserted himself as the new president of state in Gabon.
Additionally, he made remarks regarding Ali Bongo being “retired” and how he is savoring “all his rights” as a “normal Gabonese” citizen.
“On behalf of the Gabonese people and guarantor of the protection of institutions, CTRI has decided to defend peace by putting an end to the regime in place,” a military officer stated in an announcement.
Gabon is now the sixth former French colony to be seized by military leaders since 2020.
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