Gabonese army soldiers operating under the auspices of the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions explained why they will be replacing President Ali Bongo as the nation’s leader on national television on Wednesday.
Putschists said their action was “necessary” for the development of the central African nation and that significant institutional, political, economic, and social difficulties were the main causes of it.
“Our lovely country, Gabon, has always been a refuge of peace,” the junta said in a speech delivered to the entire country in French but translated into English by AFP.
“Today, the country is going through a serious institutional, political, economic and social crisis.
“We are therefore forced to admit that the organisation of the general elections of August 26, 2023, did not meet the conditions for a transparent, credible and inclusive ballot so much hoped for by the people of Gabon.
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“Added to this is irresponsible and unpredictable governance, resulting in a continuing deterioration in social cohesion, with the risk of leading the country into chaos.
“Today, 30 August 2023, we, the defence and security forces, gathered as the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions (CTRI) on behalf of the people of Gabon and as guarantors of the institutions’ protection — have decided to defend the peace by putting an end to the current regime.
“To this end, the general elections of 26 August 2023 and the truncated results are cancelled.
“The borders are closed until further notice.
The junta resolved that all of the institutions of the country be dissolved including the Federal Government, the Senate, the National Assembly, the Constitutional Court, the Economic, Social and Environmental Council and the Gabonese Elections Centre.
They therefore called for calm and serenity from the public, the communities of sister countries settled in Gabon, and the Gabonese diaspora.
“We reaffirm our commitment to respecting Gabon’s commitments to the national and international community.
“People of Gabon, we are finally on the road to happiness.
“May God and the spirits of our ancestors bless Gabon. Honour and loyalty to our homeland.”