Coup d'état in Gabon: who is General Brice Oligui Nguema?

Gabon: General Brice Oligui Nguema took the oath

This Monday, September 4, General Brice Oligui Nguema was officially sworn in as transitional president of Gabon. Dressed in his imposing red Republican Guard ceremonial costume, the head of the elite army unit solemnly swore to preserve the republican regime and the achievements of democracy.

After leading a coup d’état against President Ali Bongo the day after the presidential elections, General Brice Oligui Nguema was sworn in as transitional president, this Monday, September 4, 2023. In his speech delivered to the judges of the Court Constitutional Court, Oligui Nguema expressed his commitment to democracy and human rights.

Among the highlights of his oath, the general promised to provide amnesty for “prisoners of conscience,” a move that should help ease political divisions in the country. He also announced his intention to establish “more democratic institutions”, although he did not specify the details of these reforms. In addition, the general raised the prospect of organizing free and transparent elections in the future, without however specifying the duration of the transition period.

Last Friday, General Oligui had already announced his intention to organize free, transparent and credible elections, but this promise was accompanied by the precondition of adopting a new Constitution by referendum. This new Constitution would aim to create institutions more in line with democratic principles and respect for human rights.