Gabon coup leader to be sworn in as president ending Bongo era

Gabon coup leader to be sworn in as president ending Bongo era

Gabon’s new strongman General Brice Oligui Nguema will be sworn in as “transitional president” on Monday at the constitutional court, coup leaders said.

Oligui is expected to phase in transitional institutions, according to Ulrich Manfoumbi Manfoumbi, spokesman for the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions.

This development comes just a day after rebel army officers overthrew President Ali Bongo Ondimba.

A file photo of head of Gabon’s elite Republican Guard, General Brice Oligui Nguema (R), is decorated by Gabon Prime Minister Alain Claude Bilie Bie Nze (L) in Libreville on August 16, 2023 during celebrations ahead of Gabon Independence day celebrated on August 17, 2023. PHOTO/AFP

Army officers appeared on television on Wednesday, August 30 announcing that they are taking power.

The twelve (12) soldiers said that they were annulling (cancelling) the results of Saturday’s election in which President Ali Bongo had been declared the winner.

Ostensibly, the soldiers said they were dissolving “all the institutions of the republic”, even as gunfire was heard in the capital Libreville.

“After observing irresponsible, unpredictable governance resulting in a continuing deterioration in social cohesion that risks leading the country into chaos… we have decided to defend peace by putting an end to the current regime,” one of the soldiers said on TV channel Gabon 24 as reported by AFP.

He was speaking on behalf of the “Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions”.