Libreville– After 56 years in power, dictatorial accusations, and fraudulent elections, the Bongo’s family’s rule in Gabon has been ended in a successful coup, military declared.

A group of Military Officials on Wednesday appeared on a live television to announce that they have successfully overthrown President Ali Bongo Ondimba, following disputed elections that took place on Saturday.

The military stated that they have put an end to the 56-year Bongo family rule. “We have brought an end to the regime in place,” the soldiers declared on TV.

This became the second coup attempt in Gabon in five years after a failed attempt in 2019. Top-ranking army officials involved in the failed attempt were sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment in 2021.

President Ali Bongo ascended to power after the death of his father, President Omar Bongo, in 2009. Omar Bongo had ruled from 1967 until his death in 2009.

Since ascending to power, Ali Bongo has been accused of holding fraudulent elections, including the recent election held on Saturday. The election declared him the winner with 52% of the total votes cast, according to the country’s election body.

However, the voting process experienced delays, and the government blocked internet access and imposed curfews on Saturday, following opposition’s concerns about the irregularities in the election.

The election’s outcome heightened tensions, as members of the international community declared that Saturday’s election was not free, fair, and transparent.

The military has declared that it has taken full control of the government, nullified the results of the recent election, and dissolved all government institutions.

This coup comes a month after Niger’s democratically elected President, Mohamed Bazoum, was overthrown by the army through a successful coup d’état, a move that was jointly condemned by African leaders.

President William Samoi Ruto of Kenya stated that the resurgence of military coups and attempts to undermine the will of the people is a setback to Africa’s democratic progress.

“Africa suffered a serious setback on its democratic gains, as the aspirations of the people of Niger for constitutional democracy were subverted by an unconstitutional change of government that deposed Mohammad Bazoum,” said President William Ruto.

Further, President Ruto appealed for a united and global response to hold those responsible resurgence of the military coup in Africa accountable, reiterating Kenya’s commitment to assist in resolving the conflicts across the continent.

In a statement, the Republic of Djibouti called for the immediate release of President Mohammad Bazoum, denouncing Niger’s coup as unconstitutional.

“The Republic of Djibouti calls this coup as unconstitutional, which violates the democratic principles acquired by the Republic of Niger and its people. We call on the immediate and unconditional release of the democratically elected President H.E. Mohammad Bazoum,” the statement reads.

Several attempts by the international community, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and other African Countries to restore President Bazoum to power went futile.

This coup in Gabon becomes one of the latest coups in Africa in the past few years, following successful coups in Chad, Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Sudan, and most recently Niger.

Most of these countries have been grappling with tensions, conflicts, and civil wars after the coups. The political, economic, and social stability has been greatly affected, resulting to challenges in their progress and development.

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