A group of soldiers wearing the distinctive green berets of Gabon’s presidential guard were seen chanting their support for the military coup and carrying their leader, General Brice Oligui Nguema, in Libreville on Wednesday.
Footage shows also shows them cheering and chanting ‘President Oligui!’.
Earlier in the day, a group of army officers appeared on Gabon national television claiming they had seized power, cancelled Saturday’s election results, closed the borders and dissolved ‘all the institutions of the republic’.
They also stated that they had decided to ‘defend peace by putting an end to the current regime’.
Later, a spokesperson for the group confirmed that President Ali Bongo Ondimba was under house arrest, with others around him detained on charges of ‘high betrayal’.
On Saturday, the president – whose family has held power for over 50 years – was declared the winner of the elections, with nearly two-thirds of the vote. The country’s opposition claimed the victory was fraudulent.
Following the announcement of the coup, gunfire was also reported in Libreville by local media sources.
It comes just over a month after a similar military coup in Niger. It marks the eighth military takeover in Africa’s former French colonies in just three years. The country is one of the continent’s major oil producers.