Gabon coup: Citizens jubilate the military takeover
According to media reports, residents applaud members of the security forces in the Plein Ciel district of Libreville on August 30, 2023, after a group of Gabonese military officers appeared on television announcing they were “putting an end to the current regime” and scrapping official election results that had handed another term to veteran President Ali Bongo Ondimba.
Another coup in another former French colony. Since independence in 1960, Gabon has been one of France’s closest allies in Africa. Although weakened by a stroke, Gabon’s president Ali Bongo Ondimba chose to run for a third term in an election that has now been described by the military as lacking credibility and fairness. The Bongo family has ruled the oil-rich state, allied with France, for 56 years.
Military coups were a regular occurrence in parts of Africa in the decades after independence. But after a period of relative democratic stability, there are signs they are on the rise. The Gabon takeover is just the latest and comes just a month after soldiers took control in Niger.
Sources: BBC/DW/Aljazeera and France 24