The Economy 360


Gabon’s military coup alters the nation’s future

On the 30th of August 2023, the Gabonese Republic experienced a coup, shortly following the declaration of incumbent president Ali Bongo Ondimba’s victory in the general election held on August 26, 2023. This event resulted in the dissolution of governmental institutions and the closure of international borders for a period of three days.

IMAGE: General Brice Oligui Nguema

President Ali Bongo Ondimba was faced with accusations of election fraud due to his family’s longstanding rule spanning over five decades. Bongo was elected in 2009, taking over from his late father, Omar, who came to power in 1967.

General Brice Oligui Nguema and a group of military officers took control on Wednesday, putting President Bongo under house arrest and appointing Nguema as the new leader, thereby putting an end to the Bongo family’s 56-year reign in power. Where they announced on national television that they had seized power as a result of the election result being void.

According to the junta, they will temporarily restore the country’s constitutional court, resume domestic flights, and establish the “institutions of the transition,” a spokesperson said Thursday. The military is expected to swear in Oligui as transitional president before the constitutional court on Monday.

IMAGE: Gabonese citizens are rejoicing and optimistic that the seizure of power will bring about a change in the political system.

Also, In response to the coup, the military enforced a nighttime curfew and closed national borders indefinitely. However, they restored international media broadcasts. There are lingering uncertainties regarding the country’s leadership, the fate of President Bongo and his family, and the implications for Gabon’s international relations. The main opposition has expressed thanks to the military but urged them to resume the election process, complete the vote count, and declare victory for Bongo’s main challenger. The opposition has also invited military leaders to engage in talks to minimize the impact on the citizens’ lives.

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