Gabon’s coup leader meets Central African mediators

LibrLibreville, 5 sep (EFE).- General Brice Oligui Nguema, in charge of Gabon since Wednesday’s coup, met Tuesday with Central African Republic President Faustin Archange Touadéra for negotiations in Libreville.

Touadéra, appointed last week by the leaders of the Central African bloc to “facilitate the political process,” arrived in the Gabonese capital on Tuesday.

Local media reported the general and CAR president meeting without further details.

The meeting came after the military junta was given a one-year ultimatum to restore “constitutional order” by the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) leaders on Monday.

“One year has been given to reactivate the political process for a rapid return to constitutional order,” said Equatorial Guinea’s Vice President, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, on his X (formerly Twitter) account.

Nguema also added that the leaders of the CEEAC met on Monday in an extraordinary summit in Equatorial Guinea to discuss the situation in Gabon and decided to suspend the country’s bloc membership and move the organization’s headquarters from Libreville to Malabo, the Equatoguinean capital.

Meanwhile, General Brice Oligui Nguema was sworn in as “transitional president” on Monday in Libreville despite the international community’s condemnation, including ECCAS, the African Union, the United Nations, and the European Union, among others.

The military junta leader promised “free and transparent elections” after the transition period but did not give a specific timetable.

The coup leaders seized power on Wednesday, minutes after Gabon’s electoral authorities announced the victory of deposed President Ali Bongo in the disputed July 26 elections.

The military and the opposition said the elections were not transparent, credible, or inclusive, and accused the executive of governing “irresponsibly and unpredictably,” worsening “social cohesion.”

In addition, the coup leaders placed President Ali Bongo, General Nguema’s cousin, under house arrest for “high treason against state institutions” and “massive embezzlement of public funds.

Bongo became president after his father’s 2009 death in Spain, Omar Bongo, who had been in power since 1967.

The coup in Gabon, one of sub-Saharan Africa’s oil powers, was the second in Africa just over a month after the army seized power in Niger on July 26.

Gabon joined the list of countries that have had successful coups in the last three years, which, in addition to Niger, includes Mali (August 2020 and May 2021), Guinea-Conakry (September 2021), Sudan (October 2021) and Burkina Faso (January and September 2022). EFE


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