Thousands of Gabon citizens and residents have stormed streets celebrating the military coup in their country.
Sahara Reporters reported earlier that dozens of Gabonese soldiers appeared on television on Wednesday morning and announced 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.
Videos of Gabonese marching through the streets showed jubilant residents waving their national flag and thanking their military for liberating them.
A Twitter user with the Twitter handle @MuchTalksBlog1 who shared the video described the mood of the Gabonese as that of an overwhelming job.
The user wrote: “GABON HAPPENING NOW LIVE. Gabonese are currently out on the streets celebrating and thanking their military for liberating them. The joy is overwhelming.”
Meanwhile, the coup leaders while announcing the cancellation of the results, said “all the institutions of the republic” had been dissolved.
“We have decided to defend the peace by putting an end to the current regime”, one of the soldiers said on TV channel Gabon 24, adding that he was speaking on behalf of the “Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions”.
“To this end, the general elections of 26 August 2023 and the truncated results are canceled,” he added.
“All the institutions of the republic are dissolved: the government, the Senate, the National Assembly, and the Constitutional Court,” he added, announcing the closure of the country’s borders “until further notice”.
Among the soldiers were members of the Republican Guard as well as soldiers of the regular army and police officers.
The statement was also broadcast on Gabon 1 public television.
AFP journalists heard gunfire in several districts of Libreville during the statement.
The announcement came shortly after the national election authority said Bongo, who has been in power for 14 years, had won a third term in Saturday’s election with 64.27 percent of the vote.