Brice Oligui Nguema, Gabon’s newly appointed transitional president, is scheduled to take the oath of office on Monday. Following a non-violent coup, General Nguema has committed to establishing “enhanced democratic institutions” before holding “open elections.”
According to African news, on Saturday, the military authorities announced a move towards stability by immediately reopening land, sea, and air borders. A spokesperson for Gabon’s military leadership conveyed this decision on state television.
“In order to ensure continued respect for the rule of law, good relations with our neighbors and with all states around the world, and to promote the continuity of the State while demonstrating our firm determination to honor our international commitments, the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions (CTRI) has decided to reopen the land, sea, and air borders with immediate effect,” says Colonel Ulrich Manfoumbi Manfoumbi.
A dozen Gabonese soldiers publicly declared the closure of the country’s borders on Wednesday in a statement broadcast on Gabon 24 television. General Brice Oligui Nguema, the leader of the elite Republican Guard, led a coup against President Ali Bongo Ondimba on the same day. Bongo had just been declared the winner of the presidential elections over the weekend, a result strongly contested by the opposition.
The coup leaders announced the dissolution of Gabon’s institutions, the nullification of the election results, and the closure of the borders.
Over the past three years, five other African nations—Mali, Guinea, Sudan, Burkina Faso, and Niger—have experienced coups, and their new leaders have resisted calls for a swift return to barracks.
Gabon’s new strongman General Brice Oligui Nguema will be sworn in as “transitional president” on Monday at the constitutional court