A group of senior Gabonese military officers appeared on national television in the early hours of Wednesday and said they had taken power, after the state election body announced President Ali Bongo had won a third term.
Appearing on TV channel Gabon 24, the officers said they represented all security and defence forces in the Central African nation. They said the election results were cancelled, all borders closed until further notice and state institutions dissolved.
Loud sounds of gunfire could be heard in the capital Libreville, a Reuters reporter said, after the TV appearance.
There was no immediate comment from the government of the OPEC-member nation.
“In the name of the Gabonese people … we have decided to defend the peace by putting an end to the current regime,” the officers said.
If successful, the coup would represent the eighth in West and Central Africa since 2020. Coups in Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Chad and Niger have undermined democratic progress in recent years.