A group of senior military officials in Gabon claimed to have taken power early Wednesday morning, just minutes after the announcement by the Central African state’s electoral body that President Ali Bongo had won a third term.

The officers stated on Gabon 24 television channel that they represented all Gabonese security and defense forces. They declared the election results null and void, closed all borders until further notice, and dissolved state institutions.

According to Reuters, gunfire was heard in the capital, Libreville, following the declaration of Bongo’s removal. His family has been in control of the oil and manganese-producing country for over half a century.

As of now, the Gabonese government has not made any comments about the situation, and there is no information available regarding Bongo’s current whereabouts.

If successful, this would be the eighth coup in West and Central Africa since 2020. The most recent one occurred in Niger on July 26.

We will provide further updates on this.

AfrikPage with Reuters