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Military Officers In Gabon Declare Coup, Place President Bongo Under House Arrest

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In a startling coup on Wednesday, military troops in Gabon announced they had taken over the country from President Ali Bongo Ondimba, putting an end to the family’s 50-year dominance of the country in central Africa.

There were cheers and rumors of gunfire on the streets of the capital as men in army uniforms emerged on national television to announce the president’s house arrest during the military coup.

“It is brought to the attention of the national and international community that Ali Bongo Ondimba is being kept under house arrest,” an unnamed junta spokesperson said on state TV on Wednesday morning.

The ousted president is surrounded by his “family and doctors,” the spokesperson added.

Nourredin Bongo Valentin, the president’s son, was detained along with six other people for “high treason,” according to the junta’s spokeswoman, who stated hours later that authorities will look into the allegations.

Following his house arrest, the president is seen in a video requesting his “friends” to “make noise,” according to the Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency.

“My son is somewhere, my wife is another place,” he said.

“I am at the residence,” Bongo added, seated in what looks like a library. “Nothing is happening, I don’t know what’s going on.”

It wasn’t immediately obvious in what settings the movie had been made.

In the meantime, AFP aired video of soldiers in the coup leader’s hometown of Libreville, Libreville, celebrating. He was observed riding on the shoulders of soldiers while they yelled “President.”

Shortly after President Ali Bongo Ondimba, also known as Ali Bongo, was declared the winner of a closely contested election, the result was announced.

The declaration was made during a live broadcast on news station Gabon24 by the officers, who identified themselves as representatives of the “defense and security forces” in the nation. CNN on X, formerly known as Twitter, watched it.

“On behalf of the Gabonese people and guarantor of the protection of institutions, CTRI [the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions] has decided to defend peace by putting an end to the regime in place,” a military officer said on the broadcast.

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