Soldiers in Gabon have announced a coup d’etat, after a rigged election, ending 56 years of Bongo’s family rule.

It is said that the country’s Electoral Commission had an announced ‘fake’ and unverified results and declared Ali Bongo (pictured), winner of the disputed election, with 64.27%.

The apparent coup follows shortly after the national election authority’s announcement on Wednesday that Gabon’s President Ali Bongo Ondimba had been re-elected for a third term.

Soldier appearing on TV channel Gabon 24 says, “We have decided to defend peace by putting an end to the current regime”.

Gunfire is reported in the Gabonese capital, Libreville, according to media reports.

Gabon’s political opposition branded the election a “fraud orchestrated by Ali Bongo and his supporters”.