Gabon’s coup chief, General Brice Oligui Nguema, will be sworn in as “transitional president” next week, the junta announced on Thursday, a day after a military coup ousted President Ali Bongo. The announcement came as the African Union’s Peace and Security Council was holding a meeting Thursday to discuss the situation in Gabon.
Issued on: 31/08/2023 – 16:35
General Nguema will “phase in transitional institutions”, Colonel Ulrich Manfoumbi Manfoumbi, spokesman for Gabon’s newly formed Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions (CTRI) said on state TV on Thursday, a day after rebel officers overthrew President Ali Bongo.
In a statement on state TV, the junta said Gabon will respect all its international and domestic commitments. “Brigadier General Brice Oligui Nguema, president of the transition, wishes to reassure all donors, development partners and the state’s creditors that all measures will be taken to guarantee that our country’s commitments, both external and internal, will be respected,” said Manfoumbi.
Wednesday’s coup came shortly after the Gabon’s election commission announced the results of the August 26 presidential contest giving the incumbent 64 percent of the vote and another term in office.
A day later, Gabon’s main opposition alliance urged military officers who seized power to continue the election process and finish counting the presidential vote, which it said was falsely awarded to Bongo before the count was completed.
AU meets to discuss situation in Gabon
Thursday’s announcement came as the African Union’s Peace and Security Council was holding a meeting on the situation in Gabon following the coup.
“Now – AU Peace & Security Council meets to consider the situation in Gabon,” the AU body said in a statement on X, formerly Twitter.
It said the meeting was being chaired by AU commissioner for political affairs, Bankole Adeoye of Nigeria, and the current holder of the council’s rotating chair, Burundi’s Willy Nyamitwe.
It gave no further information.
On Wednesday, the head of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said he “strongly condemns” what he described as an attempted coup in oil-rich Gabon.
Faki had also called on the Gabonese army and security forces “to guarantee the physical integrity” of Bongo, who the coup leaders said had been placed under house arrest.
The military takeover ends more than half a century of the Bongo family’s rule and creates a new conundrum for a continent that has struggled to deal with eight coups since 2020. Nigeria’s recently elected president called it a “contagion of autocracy”.
Central Africa’s political bloc, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), condemned the coup in a statement, saying it planned an “imminent” meeting of heads of state to determine how to respond. It did not give a date.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)