Gabon’s President Ali Bongo has appealed for help after the army deposed him in a coup and put him under house arrest.
Speaking on Wednesday from what he said was his residence, he urged supporters to “raise your voice”.
Earlier, army officers appeared on TV to say they had taken power.
They said they had annulled the results of Saturday’s election in which Mr Bongo was declared the winner, but the opposition claimed it was fraudulent.
The officers also said they had arrested one of Mr Bongo’s sons for treason.
Later, they announced that Mr Bongo would be replaced by the head of the presidential guard, Gen Brice Oligui Nguema, who was earlier carried triumphantly through the streets of the capital Libreville.
They said that from Thursday, “the people of Gabon will once again be free to go about their business between 6am and 6pm” – but traffic restrictions would remain in place for now.
Mr Bongo’s overthrow would end his family’s 55-year hold on power in Gabon.
The country is one of Africa’s major oil producers, while nearly 90% of it is covered by forests. It joined the Commonwealth in June 2022, becoming one of the group’s few members not to have been a British colony.
In their TV statement the coup leaders said they were cancelling the results of the election and dissolving “all the institutions of the republic”.
The country’s borders had been closed “until further notice”, they added.
It came after Gabon’s electoral commission said Mr Bongo had won just under two-thirds of the votes in Saturday’s election, which the opposition argued was fraudulent.
One of the soldiers said they had “put an end to the current regime” because of “irresponsible, unpredictable governance resulting in a continuing deterioration in social cohesion that risks leading the country into chaos”.