Gabon president calls for help after ouster in country’s first coup

The deposed president called on Gabonese citizens to ‘make noise’ after coup attempt.

Gabon’s deposed President Ali Bongo Ondimba has solicited help, hours after he was put under house arrest by members of his presidential guard in an ongoing coup attempt on Wednesday.

Bongo, who confirmed his arrest in a video circulating on social media and verified by Al Jazeera, called on calls on citizens to “make noise” after the coup attempt. He said he was in the presidential palace but his wife and children were elsewhere in the video.

The coup leaders said his family and his doctors were with him in his home. They did not give any details about his health.

Al Jazeera correspondents in Dakar said people were out in the streets of the Gabonese capital Libreville, celebrating and waving flags.

Appearing on state-run television channel Gabon 24, the officers who orchestrated the coup said they represented all security and defence forces in the Central African nation.

They also said the election results were cancelled, all borders closed until further notice and state institutions dissolved.

The state institutions they declared dissolved included the government, the senate, the national assembly, the constitutional court and the election body.

“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”.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies