Coup Leads To Change In Leadership In Gabon: General Nguema Takes Charge

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Following a successful coup, a shift in leadership has occurred in Gabon, with General Brice Oligui Nguema assuming control of the nation as announced through a televised statement.

In the aftermath of a meeting attended by top military officials, General Nguema has been appointed as the head of the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions, taking on the role of President of the Transition with unanimous agreement.

Having previously commanded the powerful Gabonese Republican Guard, an independent military unit responsible for protecting government figures and structures, General Nguema’s appointment has raised speculation about his familial connection to the deposed President Ali Bongo.

Upon taking office, General Nguema took swift action to reinstate internet services and international media broadcasts in Gabon, marking the beginning of his tenure.

Born into a family with a military background, General Nguema pursued his education at the Royal Military Academy of Meknes in Morocco. His journey included serving as an aide-de-camp to Omar Bongo, the father of the ousted leader, Ali Bongo, who held power for nearly 42 years until his death in 2009.

After a decade of diplomatic service in Morocco and Senegal, General Nguema returned to Gabon to lead the Republican Guard.

Emphasizing the importance of maintaining a sense of calm and stability, General Nguema expressed his commitment to ensuring a peaceful transition in the country during this transformative period.

In response to concerns about potential unrest, authorities temporarily suspended internet access following the conclusion of recent elections. Additionally, French media outlets France 24, RFI, and TV5 Monde were taken off the airwaves in Gabon.

Meanwhile, a nightly curfew remains in place to maintain order.

Malika Bongo Ondimba, the daughter of the deposed president, conveyed her support to General Nguema via the social network X (formerly known as Twitter). She had also participated in the legislative elections held the previous Saturday.

In a show of solidarity with the coup leaders, citizens of Gabon took to the streets wearing the national colors – green, yellow, and blue – capturing the scenes on social media and local news platforms.

Reflecting on the events, Noel Koumba remarked saying that the military intervention serves as a response to the manipulated election. “We extend our gratitude to the armed forces for their dignified actions. Despite the distorted results, the military took charge of the situation.”

Guy Serges Moussavou, another protester, shared that this moment has been long anticipated. “They had doubts about the military’s resolve, but they have proved us wrong. Despite the election being marred by irregularities, our call for change has been heard.”

Reports indicate that jubilant protesters in the capital, Libreville, replaced posters featuring the president of the ruling Gabonese Democratic Party with images of the opposition, particularly Albert Ondo Ossa, the consensus candidate from the recent presidential election.

Beyond the nation’s borders, Gabonese nationals residing in Senegal were dispersed by local authorities as they sought to express their support for the coup outside the Gabonese embassy in Dakar. Videos circulating on social media depicted the crowd singing the national anthem in front of the embassy.

The nation witnessed a pivotal moment when a group of senior Gabonese military officers assumed control; making an announcement on national television. This development coincided with the Gabonese Election Centre’s confirmation of incumbent President Bongo’s third-term victory with 64.27% of the vote.

Having held power for over a decade, President Bongo’s rule came to an end due to the unfolding events.

Gabon now joins Niger and Mali as yet another African nation experiencing a recent military coup.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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