Gabon, an oil-rich country located on the west coast of Central Africa, with a population of just 2.4 million, finds itself amid a political crisis as a military coup has toppled President Ali Bongo’s government. The coup leaders have cited disagreements with the recent official election results as a primary motivation for their actions.

An Ousted President’s Appeal To Supporters

Speaking from his residence on Wednesday, Bongo issued a heartfelt plea to his supporters, urging them to “raise your voice” in response to the unfolding crisis. He also confirmed his house arrest, expressing uncertainty about the whereabouts of his family members and appealing for assistance.

Intriguingly, the ousted president chose to address the Commonwealth in English rather than using French, the official language of Gabon. This choice may signal a potential shift in diplomatic alliances as the situation unfolds.

A communications company associated with the presidency has verified the video’s authenticity, revealing that Bongo’s office directed them to circulate it.

Meanwhile, the military officers disclosed that they arrested one of Bongo’s sons on treason charges. They announced the appointment of General Brice Oligui Nguema, the head of the presidential guard, as the new leader, a development that marks the potential end of the Bongo family’s 55-year reign in Gabon.

The coup leaders also imposed temporary restrictions on the movement of Gabonese citizens, permitting freedom of movement between 0600 and 1800 while maintaining traffic restrictions. In addition, they declared the dissolution of “all the institutions of the republic” and closed the country’s borders until further notice.

Election Results Spark Controversy and Discontent

The catalyst for this crisis emerged from the controversial presidential election held last weekend, which claimed President Bongo as the winner with approximately two-thirds of the votes, according to official reports. However, the opposition vehemently contested these results.