This video grab taken from Gabon 24 shows Gabonese soldiers appearing on television on August 30, 2023 announcing they were "putting an end to the current regime" and the cancellation of an election that, according to official results, President Ali Bongo Ondimba won. - During the announcement, AFP journalists heard gunfire ring out in the Gabonese capital, Libreville.
While announcing the cancellation of the results one of the soldiers announced the dissolution of "all the institutions of the republic".
"We have decided to defend peace by putting an end to the current regime", one of the soldiers said on TV channel Gabon 24, adding that he was speaking on behalf of the "Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions".
"To this end, the general elections of 26 August 2023 and the truncated results are cancelled," he added.
"All the institutions of the republic are dissolved: the government, the Senate, the National Assembly and the Constitutional Court," he added, announcing the closure of the country's borders "until further notice".
Among the soldiers were members of the Republican Guard as well as soldiers of the regular army and police officers. (Photo by - / Gabon 24 / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / GABON 24" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / GABON 24" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS /
Gabonese army officers under the aegis of the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions on Wednesday morning announced on national television why they are taking over power from President Ali Bongo in the country.
The soldiers highlighted serious institutional, political, economic and social crises as factors responsible for the coup that they tagged, ‘necessary’ for the progress of the West African country.
In a nationwide address rendered in French but translated to English by AFP, the junta said, “Our beautiful country, Gabon, has always been a haven of peace. “Today, the country is going through a serious institutional, political, economic and social crisis.
“We are therefore forced to admit that the organisation of the general elections of August 26, 2023, did not meet the conditions for a transparent, credible and inclusive ballot so much hoped for by the people of Gabon. “Added to this is irresponsible and unpredictable governance, resulting in a continuing deterioration in social cohesion, with the risk of leading the country into chaos.
“Today, 30 August 2023, we, the defence and security forces, gathered as the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions (CTRI) on behalf of the people of Gabon and as guarantors of the institutions’ protection — have decided to defend the peace by putting an end to the current regime.
“To this end, the general elections of 26 August 2023 and the truncated results are cancelled. “The borders are closed until further notice.
The junta resolved that all of the institutions of the country be dissolved including the Federal Government, the Senate, the National Assembly, the Constitutional Court, the Economic, Social and Environmental Council and the Gabonese Elections Centre.
They therefore called for calm and serenity from the public, the communities of sister countries settled in Gabon, and the Gabonese diaspora.
“We reaffirm our commitment to respecting Gabon’s commitments to the national and international community.“People of Gabon, we are finally on the road to happiness.“May God and the spirits of our ancestors bless Gabon. Honour and loyalty to our homeland.”