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Gabon border reopens days after coup



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Agency Report

Gabon’s army said on Saturday that it would reopen the country’s borders, closed in the wake of the military coup that ousted ex-president Ali Bongo.

Col Ulrich Manfoumbi Manfoumbi, a spokesman for Gabon’s military rulers said on state TV that they had “decided with immediate effect to reopen the land, sea, and air borders as of this Saturday”.

A group of 12 Gabonese soldiers announced on Wednesday that the country’s borders were closed until further notice, in a statement broadcast on the Gabon 24 television channel.

General Brice Oligui Nguema, the head of the elite Republican Guard, on Wednesday, led officers in a coup against President Ali Bongo Ondimba, scion of a family that had ruled for 55 years.

His ousting came just moments after Bongo, 64, was proclaimed victor in presidential elections at the weekend — a result branded a fraud by the opposition.

The coup leaders said they had dissolved the nation’s institutions and canceled the election results as well as closed the borders.

Oligui is due on Monday to be sworn in as “transitional president”.

Five other countries in Africa — Mali, Guinea, Sudan, Burkina Faso and Niger — have undergone coups in the last three years. Their new rulers have resisted demands for a short timetable for returning to barracks.


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