Members of the Gabonese army announced Wednesday (Aug. 30) that they had "put an end to [Bongo's] regime as they spoke on national television.
The soldiers on television were comprised of members from the gendarme, the republican guard and other factions of the security forces.
Witnesses have heard heavy automatic weapons fire in Libreville, Gabon's capital.
"Today our country is going through a grave political crisis," the military men started.
We have observed an "irresponsible, unforeseeable governance that has resulted in the steady degradation of social cohesion which risks leading the country to chaos [...] we have decided to defend peace by putting an end to the regime in power," the armed men said.
They introduced themselves as members of the CTRI (Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions).
[Dear] "people of Gabon, we are finally on the road to bliss, may God and the souls of our ancestors bless our country," they concluded.
The have also announced the following:
-Borders are closed untill further notice.
-"We call on the people, the communities of brotherly nations that reside in Gabon as well as the Gabonese diaposra to remain calm and serene."
Gabon's government announced a nationwide curfew and cut off internet access Saturday (Aug. 26) evening as voting in major national elections was wrapping up.
The announcement came after voters cast ballots to elect new local leaders, national legislators and Gabon's next president.
In anticipation of post-electoral violence, many people in the capital went to visit family in other parts of the country or left Gabon altogether. Others stockpiled food or bolstered security in their homes.
There was concern of violence before the election due to deep-seated grievances among the population of some 800,000 people. Nearly 40% of Gabonese ages 15-24 were out of work in 2020, according to the World Bank.