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Gabon’s Military Announces Coup After Controversial Presidential Election

A group of high-ranking military officers in Gabon has taken control of the country following a disputed presidential election. President Ali Bongo won a third term, which sparked controversy in the Central African nation.

On Gabon 24, a national TV channel, nearly a dozen soldiers announced the coup. They claimed to represent all security and defense forces in Gabon, canceling the election results, closing borders indefinitely, and dissolving state institutions. Gunfire was reported in the capital, Libreville.

The officers stated, “In the name of the Gabonese people, we have decided to defend peace by ending the current regime.” Ali Bongo’s re-election would have continued his family’s long-held rule in the resource-rich but economically struggling nation. His father, Omar Bongo, was president from 1967 until his death in 2009.

Opposition groups had disputed the election’s legitimacy, arguing that Mr. Bongo’s reported 64% victory was fraudulent.

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