Bongo’s Cousin, Gabon’s Coup Leader,Nguema Sworn In As Acting President

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The head of Gabon’s military junta, Brice Oligui Nguema, has been sworn in as the nation’s acting president.

Following a contentious election, Nguema, the chief of the nation’s presidential guard, led some soldiers to overthrow President Ali Bongo last Wednesday.

Institutional, political, economic, and social difficulties were stated by the military personnel as justifications for the takeover.

The soldiers announced Bongo’s removal and then announced they were dissolving “all the institutions of the republic” and sealing the nation’s borders.

The soldiers claimed to be from the Committee of Transition and Restoration of Institutions (CTRI).

On Saturday, the coup leaders reopened the borders, saying they were “concerned with preserving respect for the rule of law, good relations with our neighbours and all states of the world” — and wanted to keep “international commitments”.

While Nguema appears to have some popular support—as evidenced by the large numbers of jubilant citizens who attended his inauguration—there have been worries that the general’s authority may extend the Bongo family’s 53-year control.

Ali Bongo became President after his father, Omar died in 2009. Omar had ruled from 1967-2009

The family’s dynasty was thought to have been broken by the coup, however Nguema may really be Bongo’s cousin.

The head of the nation’s opposition, Albert Ossa, had called the coup a “family affair” and a “palace revolution” designed to keep them in charge.

“Oligui Nguema is Ali Bongo’s cousin. The campaign was 60 years of Bongo is too much. The Bongos have decided to put Ali Bongo aside and continue their system by putting in place a Bongo CEO system,” he said.

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