April 15, 2024

Army personnel in Gabon have taken management of the federal government, successfully confining President Ali Bongo to his residence. This motion follows his declaration because the victor in a contested election. This incident provides to a current string of coups witnessed throughout West and Central Africa.

Picture courtesy: Mint

What went down in Gabon for a navy coup?

Rebellious troopers in Gabon have declared the chief of the republican guard as the brand new head of the nation on Wednesday. This transfer comes after they confined President Ali Bongo Ondimba, who had not too long ago gained reelection, to his residence. The troopers have accused him of betraying the nation and fascinating in important embezzlement all through his prolonged rule over the oil-rich nation in Central Africa.

In an announcement broadcasted on Gabon’s state tv, the leaders of the coup revealed that Common Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema had been chosen because the president of a transitional committee with unanimous settlement. This committee is tasked with guiding the nation throughout this era. Notably, Oligui is a cousin of President Bongo, who had earlier on the identical Wednesday been introduced because the victor in the latest presidential election. This election marked the continuation of a 55-year interval throughout which each Bongo and his deceased father held energy within the nation.

In a video captured whereas beneath home arrest, President Bongo urged the general public to voice their help for him. Nevertheless, within the capital metropolis, the gathering crowds selected to have fun the overthrow of a ruling household that has been criticized for amassing wealth from the nation’s assets, whilst a good portion of its residents face hardships.

Yollande Okomo, positioned earlier than members of the Republican guard who performed a pivotal position in orchestrating the takeover, expressed her appreciation, stating, “We’ve been awaiting this second for a substantial period. Thanks, military.”

The leaders behind the coup have introduced a curfew spanning from 6 pm to six am native time. Nevertheless, they’ve assured residents that they are going to be allowed unrestricted motion through the daytime on Thursday. Talking on Gabon’s state tv, Lt. Col. Ulrich Manfoumbi, representing the transitional president, emphasised the need of sustaining a way of tranquility and poise throughout the nation. He conveyed, “As we enter a brand new period, we’re dedicated to making sure the peace, stability, and honor of our beloved Gabon.”

President Under House Arrest in Militicised Gabon - Asiana Times
Picture courtesy: BBC

How does this translate for Gabon?

Oligui, the newly-appointed navy chief, beforehand held the place of the late President Omar Bongo’s bodyguard. Need Ename, a journalist from a neighborhood media outlet referred to as Echos du Nord, supplied this perception. Oligui’s profession trajectory additionally consists of his position as the top of the key service in 2019 earlier than assuming the management of the republican guard.

Ali Bongo Ondimba, aged 64, has been in workplace for 2 phrases since taking energy in 2009 following his father’s passing. His father had dominated the nation for a span of 41 years. All through his tenure, there was widespread dissatisfaction together with his governance. It’s price noting {that a} separate faction of mutinous troopers had tried a coup in 2019, however their effort was swiftly quelled.

Within the streets of Libreville, the capital of Gabon, a whole bunch of individuals rejoiced over the navy’s intervention. In the meantime, each the United Nations and the African Union, together with France—Gabon’s former colonial ruler, which maintains troops there—condemned the coup.

This prevalence marks the eighth occasion of a navy takeover in West and Central Africa since 2020. It additionally turns into the second coup in as many months, the primary being in Niger. A sequence of coups, together with these witnessed in Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, and Chad, have undone the democratic developments made because the Nineteen Nineties. These unfolding occasions have stirred apprehensions amongst overseas powers that maintain strategic pursuits throughout the area.

Jules Lebigui, a 27-year-old unemployed particular person who participated within the gatherings in Libreville, expressed his sentiments, stating, “My cause for marching right this moment is pure pleasure. After almost six a long time, the Bongos are now not in energy.”