May 17, 2024

The Abonese military junta has officially inaugurated General Brice Nguema, the leader of the recent coup, as the interim president of the nation.

General Nguema orchestrated a coup against the elected President Ali Bongo, ousting him shortly after he was declared the winner of a disputed election. This event took place last Wednesday.

On Monday, a sizable gathering of enthusiastic civilians assembled at General Nguema’s inauguration, displaying their support for the military’s assumption of power in the country. The presidential palace in Gabon’s capital, Libreville, served as the venue for this event, featuring a military parade.

The ceremony was attended by supporters of the new military leadership, although former ministers from the previous government who showed up were met with disapproval from a crowd sympathetic to the junta.

However, there are apprehensions that General Nguema’s leadership might simply extend the 55-year Bongo dynasty, with his close ties to the Bongo family, including being rumored to be Ali Bongo’s cousin. The Bongo family has held power in Gabon for several decades, with Ali Bongo succeeding his father, Omar, who ruled for 41 years until his passing in 2009.

General Nguema’s inauguration represents the latest instance of military takeovers of constitutional authority in West and Central Africa. Gabon now joins the ranks of six Francophone countries in the region that have experienced such takeovers in the past three years, signaling a challenge to France’s influence as the former colonial power in Africa.

Additionally, following the coup, Gabon has been suspended from the African Union, and the United Nations and France have both condemned the actions that led to the military’s assumption of power.

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