Another Military Coup Hits Africa Amidst Political Tension in the Continent. In a surprising turn of events, Gabon, a central African nation, has fallen victim to its seventh coup since 2019, as a group of senior military officers assumed power, overthrowing the existing government. The coup comes in the wake of controversial elections that have left the nation in a state of uncertainty.
Early Wednesday morning, the senior military officers delivered their announcement through a broadcast on national television. Their message was clear: “In the name of the Gabonese people … we have decided to defend the peace by putting an end to the current regime.” This assertion was made amidst growing doubts about the credibility of the recently conducted elections.
The coupists argued that the elections held over the weekend lacked credibility, pushing them to take matters into their own hands. As a result, they nullified the election results, dissolved state institutions, and sealed the country’s borders. The nation’s election, held on Saturday to elect a new leader, had returned contested outcomes, with the electoral body declaring incumbent President Ali Bongo the winner of a third term.
President Ali Bongo has been in office since 2009, following the passing of his father. The Gabonese Election Centre cited Bongo as securing 64.27 percent of the vote, compared to 30.77 percent for his main rival, Albert Ondo Ossa. However, these results were tainted by delays and irregularities, prompting widespread skepticism.
The military coup has further deepened the political turmoil in Africa, following closely on the heels of the coup that took place in Niger on July 26th. This succession of coup attempts within such a short span of time is raising concerns about the stability of governance across the continent.
The coupists have asserted their control with claims of support from the armed forces, but their actions have ignited fear and uncertainty among both the Gabonese population and the international community. The global response to the situation remains to be seen, as the fate of Gabon hangs in the balance amidst this latest wave of political upheaval in Africa.