This video grab taken from Gabon 24 shows Gabonese soldiers appearing on television on August 30, 2023 announcing 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. - During the announcement, AFP journalists heard gunfire ring out in the Gabonese capital, Libreville. While announcing the cancellation of the results one of the soldiers announced the dissolution of "all the institutions of the republic". "We have decided to defend 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 cancelled," 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. (Photo by - / Gabon 24 / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / GABON 24" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / GABON 24" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS /

Gabon Coup: Coup Leaders Reopen Country’s Border, Pledge Commitment to International Obligations

3 mins read

Gabon’s coup leaders have declared the immediate reopening of the country’s borders following this week’s military takeover, marking a pivotal moment in the nation’s political landscape.

Colonel Ulrich Manfoumbi Manfoumbi, the spokesperson for the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions (CTRI), the entity formed in the aftermath of the coup, announced during a televised address on Saturday.

He conveyed the rationale behind this decision, stating, “Our primary objective is to ensure the continuity of the state while demonstrating our unwavering commitment to fulfilling our international obligations.”

“In our earnest endeavor to uphold the principles of the rule of law, maintain amicable relations with our neighboring nations, and foster goodwill within the international community, the CTRI has chosen to reopen Gabon’s land, air, and sea borders with immediate effect,” Colonel Manfoumbi declared.

The closure of Gabon’s borders had been enforced shortly after a group of high-ranking Gabonese military officers took to national television on Wednesday, proclaiming their seizure of power.

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This development unfolded in the wake of the Gabonese Election Center’s official confirmation that incumbent President Ali Bongo had secured a third term in office, winning the election with an impressive 64.27% of the vote.

President Bongo, who had held power for over a decade, was swiftly removed from office by the coup leaders, who designated General Brice Oligui Nguema as the transitional president. General Nguema is scheduled to be sworn in on Monday, marking a pivotal moment in the nation’s political transition.

On the eve of his inauguration, President-elect Nguema initiated a dialogue with the diplomatic corps in Gabon and representatives of civil society. During this meeting, he outlined a vision of comprehensive reforms aimed at nurturing a robust democracy and enhancing governance to improve the lives of the Gabonese people.

In his address, President-elect Nguema emphasized, “Our commitment to building a strong democracy is unwavering. We intend to embark on a path that prioritizes the well-being and prosperity of the Gabonese citizens. These reforms are not merely symbolic but concrete steps towards achieving a more just and equitable society.”

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The international community is closely monitoring developments in Gabon, particularly the coup’s aftermath and the nation’s transition towards a new political era. As the borders reopen, Gabon seeks to assure its neighbors and the world that it remains committed to stability, democracy, and fulfilling its international obligations, signaling hope for a peaceful and prosperous future in the country.

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