Bongo under house arrest, say Gabon coup leaders

Military officers on Wednesday said Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba is being detained in his house and one of his sons has been arrested for “treason”.

The statement was made hours after announcing they had overthrown the government.

“President Ali Bongo is under house arrest, surrounded by his family and doctors”, they disclosed in a statement read out on state TV.

Bongo’s son and close adviser, Noureddin Bongo Valentin, his chief of staff, Ian Ghislain Ngoulou as well as his deputy, two other presidential advisers and the two top officials in the ruling Gabonese Democratic Party “have been arrested”, a military leader said.

They are accused of treason, embezzlement, corruption and falsifying the president’s signature among other allegations, he added.

Earlier on Wednesday, military officers said they had toppled Bongo who has been in power for 14 years, hours after he had been declared the victor in Saturday’s elections.

In a televised statement, they state that the vote results had been cancelled and “all the institutions of the republic” dissolved.

Gabonese army officers under the aegis of the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions power had earlier on Wednesday morning announced on national television their reason for taking over power from President Ali Bongo in the country.

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