Ship security company Ambrey has confirmed that Libreville port operations have been stopped since Wednesday morning because of a military coup in the African country of Gabon.

According to Ambrey, the Libreville port authority advised a vessel due to berth Wednesday morning to await further instructions in the anchorage, whilst another merchant vessel intending to depart the port was refused clearance to exit.

No vessels have entered or departed the Libreville port since the coup d’etat and Ambrey is aware that movements in and out of Gabon have been closed following an announcement by military officials. Ambrey says that all vessels transiting or calling at ports around the region must be vigilant and alert.

Qatari public news network Al Jazeera reported that a group of senior military officers in Gabon seized power in the early hours of Wednesday, shortly after the country’s election body announced President Ali Bongo had won a third term.

The United States, the UK, France and others condemned the military coup, while the junta in Gabon said a night-time curfew had been extended until further notice.

Gabon is a small state in Central Africa that has been ruled by the same family for more than 55 years since its independence from France in 1960.

It is one of the richest countries in Africa in terms of GDP per capita, thanks largely to oil revenues and the small population of 2.3 million.

In the 1970s, Gabon discovered abundant oil reserves offshore, allowing it to build a strong middle class. Oil accounts for 60 percent of the country’s revenues.

However, a third of Gabon population still lives below the poverty line of $5.50 per day, according to the World Bank.