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Army Officers Stage Coup in Gabon

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Army officers have taken control of Gabon and announced the annulment of the presidential election conducted on Saturday.

President Ali Bongo, who had been declared the winner, is facing opposition claims of election fraud.

The move has ended a 53-year rule of the Bongo family in Gabon.

Twelve soldiers appeared on national television on Wednesday, stating that they were dissolving all government institutions and closing the country's borders indefinitely.

One of the soldiers said on the TV channel, Gabon 24: "We have decided to defend peace by putting an end to the current regime."

Gunfire was reported in the capital, Libreville, following the soldiers' announcement, but there has been no immediate response from the government.

The coup plotters cited concerns about the Bongo regime's governance which they said was unpredictable and has resulted in decreased social cohesion and chaos.

President Ali Bongo came to power in 2009 following his father's death. His presidency has been marked by controversy, including allegations of electoral fraud in previous elections and a stroke that sidelined him for almost a year in 2018.

The recent election had problems such as a lack of ballot papers for opposition candidates, the presence of withdrawn candidates on the ballot sheet, and restrictions on foreign media coverage.

The government imposed a curfew and suspended internet access for security reasons as polls closed.

If this coup is successful, it would be the eighth such incident in West and Central Africa since 2020.


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