The Gabon Military Coup

On Wednesday morning, August 31, 2023, a coup happened in Gabon, where the military initiated the statement, cancelling the results of the election and dissolving all institutions of the republic.

Africa’s history has been marred by numerous coups. It currently reflects a turbulent journey towards stable governance and development. Political instability and the prevalence of coups are unfortunate, but what are the causes? They are the result of a legacy of colonisation, socio-economic disparities, and power struggles. This is a testament to the struggle for power, which leads to the aspirations of people taking a backseat to the ambitions of a few. These reasons continue to hinder the progress of this continent, and therefore a change is imminent.



On Wednesday morning, August 31, 2023, a coup happened in Gabon, a country situated in Central Africa. A group of military leaders from Gabon appeared on the official TV Channel for Gabon with their announcement. They stated that they had taken power from President Ali Bongo after the state election body announced him as continuing president for a third term. The 12 military officers initiated the statement, cancelling the results of the election and dissolving all institutions of the republic. With that, they boldly noted that they represented all security officials. The reasons for the actions were this, as they said:

“We have decided to defend peace by putting an end to the current regime.” This, they added, was down to “irresponsible, unpredictable governance resulting in a continuing deterioration in social cohesion that risks leading the country into chaos”.

President Ali Bongo's current situation

A video has surfaced online of the president appealing for help from the International Community to restore his presidency from the military officers. He incessantly pleaded with everyone and the country’s friends to “make noise”. He stated that he was at his residence and couldn’t comprehend the whereabouts of his family. However, AFP is reporting that the president is under house arrest.

“President Ali Bongo is under house arrest, surrounded by his family and doctors,” the military said.

French miner Eramet says it has halted all operations in Gabon. It owns the Comilog manganese mining unit in Gabon. They have officially stated that they will be halting all operations in the country due to the unexpected events.

“From this morning all Comilog and Setrag operations have been halted and train transport suspended,”

The European Union has taken steps to comment on the matter and discuss the situation. The EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, while speaking to a meeting of EU defence ministers in Toledo, Spain, said:

 “If this is confirmed, it is another military coup which increases instability in the whole region. The whole area, starting with Central African Republic, then Mali, then Burkina Faso, now Niger, maybe Gabon, it’s in a very difficult situation and certainly the ministers have to have a deep thought on what is going on there and how we can improve our policy in respect with these countries.


Russia has equally stated that it is “deeply concerned” over the events in Gabon. while France has expressed its own sentiments over the situation. A fresh statement from Foreign Minister Olivier Véran says Paris wants the result of Gabon’s recent election to be respected.

China said that it is closely watching the developments. During a press conference, a foreign ministry spokesman, Wang Webin, expressed the need for all sides to commit to dialogue and diplomatic procedures in order to “restore normal order as soon as possible”. He also pleaded for the personal safety of President Bongo to be guaranteed.



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