Ali Bongo Ondimba, the deposed president of Gabon, has appealed for assistance hours after being placed under house arrest by members of his presidential guard during a military coup on Wednesday.
After the coup attempt, Bongo urged people to “make noise” in a video that was circulating on social media and verified by Al Jazeera. Although he claimed to be in the presidential palace, the video showed his wife and kids in another location.
The leaders of the coup claimed that he was at home with his family and doctors but withheld all information regarding his health.
People were seen cheering and waving flags in the streets of Libreville, the capital of Gabon following the military coup.
The officers behind the coup claimed to speak for all of the country’s security and defence forces when they appeared on state-run television station Gabon 24.
They added that state institutions had been disbanded, all borders had been blocked until further notice, and the election results had been annulled.
The government, senate, national assembly, constitutional court, and election body were among the state institutions they declared dissolved.
“In the name of the Gabonese people … we have decided to defend the peace by putting an end to the current regime,” one officer read out loud from the joint statement while about a dozen others stood silently behind him in military fatigues and berets.
The servicemen introduced themselves as members of the “Committee of Transition and the Restoration of Institutions”.