Gabon’s president under house arrest

Lazy eyes listen


Gabonese President Ali Bongo has been placed under house arrest and is surrounded by his family and doctors, according to military officers involved in the Central African country’s coup on Wednesday.

Noureddin Bongo Valentin, one of the president’s sons, and other high-profile government officials, as well as certain members of the ruling Gabonese Democratic Party, have also been arrested, according to the coup leaders, according to an AFP report.

According to the statement, the president’s associates have been charged with “high treason against the institutions of the state, massive misappropriation of public funds, organized international financial embezzlement, forgery, falsification of the President of the Republic’s signature, active corruption, and drug trafficking.”

Officers of the Gabonese Armed Forces declared their takeover of power on Wednesday, annulling election results just minutes after Bongo, 64, was declared the winner of the disputed presidential election with 64.27% of the vote.

Bongo has been in power since 2009 and was previously threatened with a military coup in 2019.

The new seizure was characterized by the troops as an effort to “defend peace by putting an end” to Bongo’s “irresponsible, unpredictable governance.”

Meanwhile, the Gabonese leader has made his first public appearance in a video circulating on social media, urging “friends around the world to make some noise” in the aftermath of his incarceration.

He verified that he was at home, but stated that “nothing is happening.” “I’m not sure what’s going on.”

The head of Libreville’s presidential guard, Brice Oligui Nguema, who organized the coup, told the French newspaper Le Monde that the president will “enjoy all his rights” while incarcerated.

“He is the Gabonese president.” He is no longer employed. He has full legal rights. “He is just like the rest of us Gabonese,” Nguema was quoted as adding.

AFP had previously reported that Nguema had been appointed to head the former French colony’s “Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions.”

Nguema, though, declared in an interview with Le Monde: “I am not declaring myself yet.” I’m not thinking about anything right now. We will discuss it with all of the generals.”