What Sets Gabon's Coup Apart From Africa's Other Recent Coups

Aug 30, 2023 | 19:50 GMT

People hold up Gabon's national flag in the country's capital of Libreville on Aug. 30, 2023, as they celebrate after a group of military officers announced they were ''putting an end to the current regime'' and scrapping official election results that had handed another term to President Ali Bongo Ondimba.
People hold up the Gabonese national flag in Libreville on Aug. 30, 2023, as they celebrate the military's ousting of authoritarian leader Ali Bongo Ondimba.

(AFP via Getty Images)

The fallout from Gabon's coup will likely be relatively limited as the military will probably sustain oil and gas exports, even as the pledged transition period will not necessarily lead to democratic processes and risks incentivizing more coups across central Africa. On Aug. 30, a group of military officers calling themselves the Committee of Transition and Restoration of Institutions announced that they had seized power and deposed President Ali Bongo, just hours after he was declared the winner of Gabon's Aug. 26 presidential election. The officers said that they represented all of Gabon's security and defense forces, and that they acted in response to Gabon's ''severe institutional, political, economic and social crisis.'' Coup leaders also announced the dissolution of the government, the Senate, the National Assembly and the Constitutional Court, as well as the closure of the country's borders ''until further notice.'' Bongo is reportedly being kept under house arrest...

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