Mutinous Soldiers Stage Successful Coup In Gabon

(Photo by MARCO LONGARI/AFP via Getty Images)

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Jake Smith Contributor
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Mutinous soldiers in the African nation of Gabon announced they had detained the country’s president in an attempt to seize power in the region, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday.

President Ali Bongo Ondimba pleaded with Gabon’s citizens to “make noise” after reportedly being arrested as part of a military coup that sought to overturn the results of a presidential election, according to the AP. Within minutes of the announcement that Ondimba had won the contentious election, gunfire could be heard in Libreville, Gabon’s capital.

Shortly after a dozen soldiers in uniform appeared on state television and announced they had successfully staged a coup and taken power. Ondimba later appeared on video and said he had been arrested, and that his wife and son were being held at a separate location. (RELATED: ‘Very Difficult Situation’: Coup Leaders Stonewall US Diplomat As War Risk Looms Over Nation)


Gabon’s citizens took to the streets to celebrate Ondimba’s arrest; he has fallen under criticism for his family’s increasing wealth and decades of power as the country continues to suffer economic hardship, according to the AP.

“Thank you, army. Finally, we’ve been waiting a long time for this moment,” said one member of the crowd to Gabon’s elite soliders, according to the AP.

“Long live our army!” said another.

The mutinous soldiers who took power Wednesday said they would “dissolve all institutions of the republic,” according to a spokesman for the group, the AP reported. They also said that they arrested Ondimba for “high betrayal of state institutions, massive embezzlement of public funds [and] international financial embezzlement.”

Ondimba’s family has been the subject of public scrutiny for years, and it is no surprise that his own forces would eventually turn against him, according to a risk assessment analyst who spoke to the AP. But it’s more than likely the successful coup that recently took place in Niger inspired Gabon’s military to take their own action.

The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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