Gabonese trooped onto the streets of Libreville the capital on Wednesday, hailing Lt. Col. Ulrich Madoumbi, the military officer who announced the ouster of President Ali Bongo Ondimba.
In a video that has gone viral, the people celebrated Madoumbi as he and other soldiers were sighted on the streets of the capital.
In the 15 second video, the people chanted ‘Madoumbi President”, as he walked past, in the midst of other military officers.
Madoumbi in return, gave the black power salute. It was not clear whether he will be announced as the new president of Gabon.
Early on Wednesday, he and 11 military officers announced on Gabon 24 TV channel the end of the Ali Bongo Ondimba era.
Bongo was declared Tuesday night as the winner of a highly disputed election, which the electoral umpire claimed he won by 64 percent.
His rival, Albert Ondo Ossa whose candidacy was endorsed by six other political parties, reportedly scored 30.7 percent.
They shut all borders until further notice and dissolved state institutions.
“In the name of the Gabonese people … we have decided to defend the peace by putting an end to the current regime,” Ulrich Madoumbi read in a statement.
As he read the joint statement, around a dozen others stood silently behind him in military fatigues and berets.
READ ALSO: Gabon Military Officers Stage Coup
The servicemen introduced themselves as members of The Committee of Transition and the Restoration of Institutions.
The state institutions they declared dissolved included the government, the senate, the national assembly, the constitutional court and the election body.
If successful, the coup would represent the eighth in West and Central Africa since 2020.
Coups in Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Chad and Niger have undermined democratic progress in recent years.
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Photo Credit: Getty