(EcoFinances) – The victim of a coup d’état in the early hours of Wednesday 30 August 2023, former Gabonese president Ali Bongo Ondimba, appeared (several hours later) in a video posted on social networks calling on his « friends » around the world to come to his aid. Bongo Ondimba, who was Gabon’s outgoing president until Tuesday 29 August, was overthrown at 5am on Wednesday by the defence and security forces, who have formed the Transition and Restoration of Institutions Committee (TRIC).
« I was arrested and placed under house arrest. And as I speak, I don’t know what’s going on. My son has been arrested and my wife (Sylvia Bongo) is in an undisclosed location. I’m calling on you, my friends, to help us! Make some noise, so that everyone knows what’s going on. Make some real noise! It’s very important, because this is a serious time. Thank you, » he said in English in a video that lasts barely two minutes.
Ali Bongo’s outburst came several hours after the public television channels (Gabon 24 and Gabon 1) announced that his regime had been overthrown by the coup plotters, and that the presidential elections of 26 August had been annulled. The results showed him as the winner with 64.27% of the vote, compared with 30.77% for his main rival, the opponent Albert Ondo Ossa.
Dissolution of all the institutions of the Republic
For the putschists, « the organisation of the electoral deadlines, known as the general elections of 26 August 2023, did not meet the conditions for a transparent, credible and inclusive ballot so much hoped for by the Gabonese people ». For this reason, they have decided to assume their responsibilities by cancelling the election and dissolving all the institutions of the Republic: the Government, the Senate, the National Assembly, the Constitutional Court, the Economic, Social and Environmental Council and the CGE (Gabonese Elections Council). Clearly, this means the end of the Bongo regime.
At midday, the members of the TRIC confirmed (via a press release) that Ali Bongo had been placed under house arrest (surrounded by his doctors), announcing the planned arrest of several personalities (07 in total) for « high treason against the institutions of the State, massive misappropriation of public funds, international financial embezzlement in organised gangs, forgery and use of forgeries, falsification of the signature of the President of the Republic, active corruption and drug trafficking ».
Among those already arrested are the Speaker of the National Assembly, President Ali Bongo’s son, Noureddin Bongo Valentin, and Jessye Ella Ekogha, special adviser and spokesperson to the President of the Republic. The coup plotters assure that the latter will be held accountable for their actions following an investigation by the competent authorities.