Gabon’s deposed President Ali Bongo Ondimba on Wednesday appealed to the world to raise a voice for his release after the military put him “under house arrest” after a coup, according to a video of the president circulating online.
The 64-year-old leader is seen in the 50-second video sitting calmly in a chair as he makes an urgent appeal.
advertisements“I am Ali Bongo Ondimba, president of Gabon, and I am sending a message to all friends we have all over the world – to make noise because the people here have arrested me,” he said in the video posted online whose source could not be verified.
Bongo further said: “My family, my son is somewhere and my wife is in another place. Right now I’m in the residence, and nothing is happening. I don’t know what is going on. So I am calling you to make noise. Thank you,” the detained leader said.
Some military officers seized power in Gabon on Wednesday, saying they denounce “irresponsible, unpredictable governance resulting in a continuous deterioration of social cohesion, which risks leading the country into chaos.”
According to a statement read out on state television by the military junta named Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions (CTRI), Bongo is being kept “under house arrest, surrounded by his family and doctors.”
The coup followed official results that showed Bongo winning a third term in office following the country’s election on Saturday.
The military, however, announced a cancellation of the result, and the dissolution of the country’s institutions, amid reports of gunfire in the capital Libreville on Wednesday.
Gabon is the latest country in Africa to experience a military takeover after members of Niger’s military seized power in the West African country late last month.