Just In: Gabon military officers declare coup after Ali Bongo wins disputed election

A dozen mutinous soldiers appeared on Gabonese national television, announcing the cancellation of recent election results and the dissolution of “all the institutions of the republic”.Wednesday’s announcement came after President Ali Bongo Ondimba, 64 was re-elected for a third term, in an election the opposition described as a ‘fraud orchestrated’ by the ruling party.

The Bongo family, one of Africa’s most powerful dynasties, has been in power since 1967.The president has confirmed he is under house arrest and called for help, urging citizens to ‘make noise’.There have been scenes of celebration in the Gabonese capital, Libreville since the military takeover.

Commonwealth: Gabon coup ‘deeply concerning’The Commonwealth has voiced fears about the military coup in Gabon, which joined the bloc last year with Togo, another former French colony.Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said the situation was “deeply concerning”, adding that the bloc was monitoring the situation closely.

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“The Commonwealth Charter is clear that member states must uphold the rule of law and the principles of democracy at all times,” Scotland said.

How many coups have there been in Africa?Out of the 486 attempted or successful military coups carried globally since 1950, Africa accounts for the largest number with 214, of which at least 106 have been successful.Based on data compiled by American researchers Jonathan M Powell and Clayton L Thyne, at least 45 of the 54 nations across the African continent have experienced at least a single coup attempt since 1950.

SOURCE: Aljazeera.com

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