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Gabon coup chief: No rush to elections and ‘the identical errors’ | Army Information

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The chief of a coup that overthrew Gabon’s President Ali Bongo says he desires to keep away from dashing into elections that “repeat previous errors” as stress mounts handy again energy to a civilian authorities.

Army officers led by Common Brice Oligui Nguema seized energy on Wednesday minutes after an announcement that Bongo had secured a 3rd time period in an election.

The officers positioned Bongo beneath home arrest and put in Nguema as head of state, ending the Bongo household’s 56-year maintain on energy.

The coup – West and Central Africa’s eighth in three years – drew cheering crowds onto the streets of the capital, Libreville, however condemnation from overseas and at house.

“Our intention is to maneuver as shortly as potential, shortly however certainly. Shifting as shortly as potential doesn’t imply organising elections in a rush the place we’ll find yourself with the identical errors, the place the identical individuals will proceed in energy, and all of it comes again to the identical factor,” Nguema stated in a televised tackle on Friday evening.

Regional bloc, the Financial Group of Central African States (ECCAS), has urged companions led by the United Nations and the African Union to help a speedy return to constitutional order, it stated in a press release after a unprecedented assembly on Thursday. It stated it could reconvene on Monday.

Duffel baggage filled with money

Gabon’s foremost opposition group, Alternance 2023, which says it’s the rightful winner of the election, urged the worldwide neighborhood on Friday to encourage the generals handy energy again to civilians.

Bongo was elected in 2009, taking on from his late father who got here to energy in 1967. Opponents say the household did little to share Gabon’s oil and mining wealth.

For years the Bongo household occupied an expensive palace overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. They personal costly vehicles and properties in France and the USA, usually paid for in money, in response to a 2020 investigation by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Challenge, a world community of investigative journalists.

In the meantime, nearly one-third of the nation’s 2.3 million individuals reside in poverty.

Army leaders ordered the arrest of certainly one of Bongo’s sons, Noureddin Bongo Valentin, and a number of other members of Bongo’s cupboard on accusations starting from alleged embezzlement to narcotics trafficking.

State broadcaster Gabon 24 stated on Thursday that duffel baggage filled with money wrapped in plastic had been confiscated from the houses of varied officers. Its footage included a raid on the home of former cupboard director Ian Ghislain Ngoulou.

Standing subsequent to Bongo Valentin, he informed the channel the cash was a part of Bongo’s election fund. It was unclear when the photographs have been shot.

Attorneys for Bongo’s spouse Sylvia stated on Friday that Bongo Valentin was being held in an undisclosed location, and the household is anxious about his security.

“You want politicians to handle a transition and above all a state,” stated retired Libreville resident Timothe Moutsinga. “We anticipate rather a lot from this authorities and this transition, a switch of energy to civilians.”

The takeover in Gabon follows coups in Guinea, Chad and Niger, plus two every in Mali and Burkina Faso since 2020. The takeovers have erased democratic features in a area the place insecurity and widespread poverty have weakened elected governments, worrying worldwide powers with strategic pursuits at stake.

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