Gabonese army members made a significant announcement on Wednesday (Aug. 30), revealing on national television that they have taken actions to change the existing regime.
The group appearing on television included soldiers from different branches of the security forces, including the gendarme and the republican guard.
Reports indicate that there was a substantial exchange of gunfire with automatic weapons in Gabon’s capital city, Libreville.
In the face of a pressing political situation, the military individuals initiated their message by acknowledging the severity of the crisis.
They pointed out the existing challenges arising from a form of governance that lacked responsibility and predictability. This form of governance has led to a steady decline in social unity, raising the risk of the country falling into disorder. Consequently, they asserted their decision to intervene and bring an end to the current regime to uphold peace.
The individuals presenting themselves as part of the CTRI (Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions) expressed their hope for a positive future for Gabon.
Moreover, they shared additional information:
- Borders will remain closed until further notice.
- They urged the Gabonese people, as well as the communities of neighboring nations and the Gabonese diaspora, to maintain calmness and serenity.
In the backdrop of the national elections, Gabon’s government imposed a curfew across the country and restricted internet access on Saturday (Aug. 26).
The decision came after citizens cast their votes to select new local leaders, national representatives, and the upcoming president of Gabon.
In anticipation of potential post-election unrest, a significant number of residents from the capital sought refuge with their families in other regions or opted to leave the country. Some individuals also took precautions by stocking up on provisions and enhancing security measures within their homes.
Prior to the election, concerns loomed over the possibility of violence due to long-standing grievances among the population, which comprises around 800,000 individuals. The World Bank reported that nearly 40% of Gabonese individuals between the ages of 15 and 24 were unemployed in the year 2020.