Flights to Gabon canceled as military coup closes borders

Eric Salard / Wikimedia Commons

After Gabonese soldiers announced the dissolution of the country’s institutions and the closing of borders, several international flights to Gabon’s capital city, Libreville, were canceled. 

On the evening of August 29, 2023, a group of soldiers, comprising members of the Republican Guard (GR) and other branches of the military, appeared on national television to declare the cancellation of the election results held three days prior and which saw the victory of President Ali Bongo Ondimba for the third time. 

“We are putting an end to the regime in place. […] All the institutions of the Republic are dissolved, in particular the government, the Senate, the National Assembly, the Constitutional Court, the Economic, Social and Environmental Council, the Gabonese Center for Elections,” declared one of the soldiers, speaking on behalf of what they referred to as the Committee for the Transition and the Restoration of Institutions (CTRI). “Borders are closed until further notice.” 

With the enforcement of a border closure, a number of flights scheduled for the evening and over the course of the next day were canceled. 

According to data, the first to be affected was Turkish Airlines flight TK587 from Istanbul (IST) due to land at Libreville International Airport (LBV) at 9:45 PM local time on August 29, 2023. The next morning, Air Cote d’Ivoire flight HF8240, from Cotonou (COO) and Air France flight AF926 from Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) were also canceled. 

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