Gabon coup leader sworn in as interim president


Gabonese General Brice Oligui Nguema, who led a coup to end 55 years of Bongo dynasty rule, was sworn in as interim president. This came after the coup ousted President Ali Bongo Ondimba, who had been declared the victor in last month's presidential election, a result contested by the opposition.

During his swearing-in ceremony, General Oligui vowed to preserve the republican regime and protect the achievements of democracy. He also pledged to hold free and transparent elections after an unspecified transition period and to grant amnesty to "prisoners of conscience."

The coup leaders dissolved the nation's institutions, annulled the election results, and temporarily closed the borders. However, many countries have not recognized General Oligui as Gabon's legitimate leader and are urging him to outline his plans for the restoration of civilian rule.

General Oligui has engaged in extensive discussions with various groups, including business leaders, religious figures, unions, political parties, NGOs, diplomats, and journalists. He has expressed his commitment to creating more democratic institutions that respect human rights but without haste.

While some in Gabon are calling for General Oligui to hand over power, there have been celebrations in the streets over the overthrow of the Bongo dynasty. Western countries and organizations have condemned the coup, citing concerns about the credibility of the election.

Former President Ali Bongo had sought a third term in office, but the coup leaders claimed to have placed him under house arrest and in retirement. Bongo, however, released a video on social media, stating that his son and wife had been detained and called for international support.

The military has accused the detained officials of treason, embezzlement, corruption, and forging the president's signature, among other charges. Gabon joins a list of African countries that have experienced coups in recent years, with the new rulers resisting calls for a swift return to civilian rule.


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