Soldiers in Gabon appointed the head of the republican guard as the OPEC member state’s new leader, hours after placing President Ali Bongo under house arrest and annulling elections in which he secured a third term.
(Bloomberg) — Soldiers in Gabon appointed the head of the republican guard as the OPEC member state’s new leader, hours after placing President Ali Bongo under house arrest and annulling elections in which he secured a third term.
General Brice Oligui Nguema will serve as transitional president, Agence France-Presse reported, citing a statement read out on state television in the capital, Libreville, on Wednesday.
Army officers seized power in the Central African nation in the early hours of Wednesday morning, saying they’d canceled an Aug. 26 vote and dissolved the country’s institutions. Gabon’s dollar bonds sank on the news, with its June 2025 and November 2031 debt ranking as the worst performers in emerging markets on the day.
Read More: Gabon Coup Triggers Bond Selloff Sparking Contagion Fears
If the putsch holds in the former French colony, it would mark the ninth in sub-Saharan Africa in the past three years, and follows a coup in Niger last month.
The African Union “strongly condemns the attempted” coup and called on the army and security forces to “adhere strictly to their republican vocation” and to guarantee Bongo’s wellbeing, African Union Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat said in a statement.
France also condemned the coup, with an official saying President Emmanuel Macron’s government is following events closely.
Bongo is being detained with his family and medical doctor, while one of his sons has been arrested, military officers said in an earlier broadcast on state television on Wednesday.
Bongo’s reported victory in the election, with 64.3% of the vote, came months after Gabon’s constitution was changed to allow the president to be elected in a single round. The new system also obliged voters to choose their preferred leader and lawmakers from the same party.
Read More: What’s Driving the Coups Across Sub-Saharan Africa?: QuickTake
–With assistance from Moses Mozart Dzawu.
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