The Gabonese army officers, operating under the authority of the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions, publicly declared their reasons for assuming control of governance from President Ali Bongo on Wednesday morning, as broadcasted on national television.
The soldiers identified significant institutional, political, economic, and social difficulties as the underlying causes of the coup, which they deemed as essential for the advancement of the West African nation.
The junta said in its message to the public, originally delivered in French but translated by AFP into English, “Our beautiful country, Gabon, has always been a haven of peace.”
“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.
“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 made the decision to dissolve all institutions inside the country, which encompassed the Federal Government, the Senate, the National Assembly, the Constitutional Court, the Economic, Social and Environmental Council, and the Gabonese Elections Centre.
Consequently, they appealed for composure and tranquilly among the general populace, the communities of neighbouring nations residing in Gabon, and the Gabonese diaspora.