By Daniel Edu
Gabonese army officers, operating as the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions, have taken to national television to elucidate the reasons behind their seizure of power from President Ali Bongo in the country.
Citing a combination of profound institutional, political, economic, and social crises, the military officers asserted that these factors compelled the coup they have deemed “necessary” for the advancement of the West African nation.
In a broadcast that was delivered in French but subsequently translated to English by AFP, the junta articulated their stance as follows:
“Our cherished nation, Gabon, has historically been a sanctuary of tranquility.
“However, the present time has seen our country mired in grave institutional, political, economic, and social turmoil.
“Regrettably, we are compelled to acknowledge that the conduct of the general elections on August 26, 2023, failed to meet the prerequisites for a transparent, credible, and comprehensive electoral process, a prospect fervently anticipated by the Gabonese people.
“Further exacerbating the situation is a regime marked by irresponsible and erratic governance, which has resulted in an ongoing erosion of social unity, imperiling the nation with the specter of chaos.
“As of today, August 30, 2023, we, the combined forces of defense and security, united as the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions (CTRI), acting on behalf of the Gabonese populace and as guardians of institutional integrity, have resolved to uphold peace by terminating the existing regime.
“With this aim, the general elections held on August 26, 2023, and the incomplete results are null and void.
“The nation’s borders are sealed until further notice.
“As a consequence, all the country’s institutions are dissolved, encompassing the Federal Government, the Senate, the National Assembly, the Constitutional Court, the Economic, Social and Environmental Council, and the Gabonese Elections Centre.
“In light of these actions, we appeal for composure and tranquility from the citizenry, our sister nations’ communities residing in Gabon, and the Gabonese diaspora.
“We reiterate our commitment to upholding Gabon’s obligations to both the national and international communities.
“People of Gabon, at long last, we are embarking on a journey towards happiness.
“May the divine forces and the spirits of our forebears bestow their blessings upon Gabon. Our homeland, we pledge honor and allegiance.”
The address from the junta offers insight into the motivations underlying the military intervention and the conditions they perceive as necessitating the change in leadership.