In the aftermath of a military intervention on Wednesday, Colonel Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema, the commander of the Republican Guards, has emerged as the chosen leader to guide Gabon through a transitional phase. This pivotal decision was made by his fellow officers in response to the military’s assumption of power.
Reports from the Heritage Times [HT] had previously indicated that the military had taken control on the morning of August 30th, citing escalating social unrest that held the potential to plunge the nation into future turmoil. Central to their assertion was the claim of fraudulent conduct during the presidential election held on August 26th.
During the contested election, the country’s electoral commission announced the incumbent, Ali Bongo, as the victor, securing 64.27% of the votes, while the opposition contender, Ondo Ossa, managed to secure 30%.
Colonel Nguema, who previously held a crucial role in safeguarding the president within the Republican Guards, has now stepped into the forefront of this transitional shift. This military intervention signals a palpable dissatisfaction within the armed forces regarding the persistent irregularities within Gabon’s political landscape.
Assuming command of the Republican Guard in April 2020, Colonel Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema has played a crucial role in protecting the nation’s highest authority. Notably, his ascent followed the tenure of General Grégoire Kouna, who held the position and happens to be a cousin of Ali Bongo Ondimba.
Interestingly, a mere month before these developments, a faction of the Presidential Guards had orchestrated a successful coup against the then-President of Niger Republic, Mohammed Bazoum, effectively confining him to house arrest.
In the present scenario, Ali Bongo Ondimba himself finds his movements constrained, placed under house arrest at The Residence, which serves as the official dwelling of the Gabonese President. Meanwhile, his wife and son’s whereabouts remain undisclosed, contributing to an atmosphere of uncertainty and intrigue.