After military officers seized power on Wednesday morning, Colonel Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema, the head of the Republican Guards, has been elected by his peers to spearhead the transitional leadership in Gabon.
Early on August 30, the military declared that they had assumed control from Ali Bongo Ondimba, citing a deteriorating social climate that they believed could lead to future chaos. The military also alleged fraudulent conduct in the August 26 presidential election, stating that it was not conducted fairly.
The country’s electoral commission had announced that Ali Bongo secured 64.27% of the votes, with opposition candidate Ondo Ossa receiving 30%, in the presidential election.
According to sources from the Cameroon News Agency, Colonel Nguema’s previous role as leader of the Republican Guards involved safeguarding the president.
The military takeover on Wednesday indicates the Gabonese military’s dissatisfaction with the ongoing irregularities within the country.
In April 2020, Colonel Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema assumed command of the Republican Guard, an elite Army unit responsible for protecting the head of state. He succeeded General Grégoire Kouna, a cousin of Ali Bongo Ondimba.
It’s worth noting that about a month ago, on July 26, members of the Presidential Guards staged a coup against the then-President of Niger Republic, Mohammed Bazoum, placing him under house arrest.
Meanwhile, Ali Bongo Ondimba finds himself under house arrest at The Residence, the official presidential residence, while his wife and son are being held in undisclosed locations.