In an undated video obtained by AFPTV on August 30, 2023, Ali Bongo Ondimba, the deposed president of Gabon, can be seen urging his international associates to raise their voices in support while he remains under house arrest.
Following disputed elections in the oil-rich African nation, rebel officers took control on August 30, 2023, ousting President Ali Bongo Ondimba, who had held power since 2009 and was declared the winner. Bongo, aged 64, belongs to a family that has governed Gabon for over 55 years. As a consequence of the coup, he was confined to his residence, and one of his sons was arrested for treason, as stated by the leaders of the uprising.
Ali Bongo appeared in a video, expressing a plea for his global “friends” to take action on behalf of the people who had apprehended him and his family. Speaking in English, he implored, “I’m sending a message to all friends that we have all over the world to tell them to make noise for… the people here who arrested me and my family.” In a visibly concerned state, he clarified that his son was situated in one place, while his wife was “in another place.”
Without any specific location or date, the origin of the video couldn’t be confirmed by AFP. Prior to the release of this video, a military spokesperson indicated that Ali Bongo’s son and close adviser, Noureddin Bongo Valentin, along with other high-ranking officials, had been arrested. The accusations against them included treason, corruption, embezzlement, and forging the president’s signature.
China urged the safety of Ali Bongo, while France, the former colonial power, expressed close attention to the events unfolding in Gabon. The coup marked a significant shift in the political landscape of the country, leading to international concerns and calls for stability.