Gabon President Ali Bongo under house arrest, son arrested

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Gabon President Ali Bongo Ondimba has been placed under house arrest, a few hours after army officers announced on state TV that they are taking power.

The coup leaders also say that they have arrested President Bongo’s son for ‘treason’.

“President Ali Bongo is under house arrest, surrounded by his family and doctors,” they said in a statement read out on state TV.

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. PHOTO/AFP

Annulling election results

The soldiers said that they were annulling the results of Saturday’s election in which President Bongo had been declared the winner.

Ostensibly, the soldiers said they were dissolving “all the institutions of the republic”.

“After observing irresponsible, unpredictable governance resulting in a continuing deterioration in social cohesion that risks leading the country into chaos… we have decided to defend peace by putting an end to the current regime,” one of the soldiers said on TV channel Gabon 24.

Residents applaud members of the security forces in the Plein Ciel district 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. PHOTO/AFP.
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