Gabonese Junta swears in coup leader

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The head of the military junta that removed President Ali Bongo  from power in Gabon is set to be sworn in today as the interim President.

 

General Brice Oligui Nguema is expected to give his first speech as interim president after being sworn in, which would solidify the junta’s control over the country.

The military officers led by Nguema took power on August 30, minutes after it was announced that Ali Bongo had won a third term in an election. The junta annulled the result, saying it was not credible.

 

The coup in Gabon is the latest in a series of military takeovers in West and Central Africa in recent years. It is the eighth coup in the region in the last three years.

The coup, which brought to an end the Bongo family’s 56-year dynasty, drew applauds amongst crowds onto the streets of the capital Libreville. But the forceful takeover had received condemnation from abroad.

 

The leaders of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) are scheduled to meet in person on Monday to discuss their response to the coup in Gabon. Last week, they called on partners, led by the United Nations and the African Union, to support a swift return to constitutional order.

The military junta has not yet announced how long it plans to stay in power. On Friday, Nguema said that they would move forward “quickly but surely,” but cautioned that too much haste could lead to elections that are not credible.

Gabon’s main opposition group, Alternance 2023, which claims to have won the August 26 election, has appealed to the international community to urge the junta to return power to civilians.