Wednesday, August 30, 2023 2:19 pm
The contagion of coups that hit West Africa in recent times is currently on its hideous duty in Garbon. Today, soldiers appeared on Gabonese national television, announcing the cancellation of recent election results and the dissolution of “all the institutions of the republic”. It was a euphemism for military putsch or coup, toppling President Ali Bongo Ondimba, 64 who was re-elected for a third term, in an election the opposition, as reported by Al Jazeera, described as a ‘fraud orchestrated’ by the ruling party.
Speaking to the French newspaper Le Monde, coup leader Brice Oligui Nguema says the president will “enjoy all his rights” after the military announced it has placed him under house arrest.
“He is a Gabonese head of state. He is retired. He enjoys all his rights. He is a normal Gabonese, like everyone else,” Nguema said.
The new Head of State is not known yet. Nguema will not confirm whether he will declare himself the new president of the West African country.
“I do not declare myself yet. I do not envisage anything for the moment,” he said.
“This is a debate that we are going to have with all the generals. We will meet at 2 pm [13:00 GMT]. It will be about reaching a consensus. Everyone will put forward ideas, and the best ones will be chosen as well as the name of the person who will lead the transition,” he added.
How many coups have there been in Africa?
Out of the 486 attempted or successful military coups carried globally since 1950, Africa accounts for the largest number with 214, of which at least 106 have been successful.
Based on data compiled by American researchers Jonathan M. Powell and Clayton L. Thyne, at least 45 of the 54 nations across the African continent have experienced at least a single coup attempt since 1950.
Assala Energy, as Al Jazeera reported further, said its oil production in Gabon has been unaffected by the military coup in the country.
“We can confirm that all our personnel are safe, our operations continue as usual and our production is not affected,” a company spokesperson said.
Gabon produces about 200,000 barrels a day (bpd) of crude oil, making it the second-smallest OPEC producer.
Coup leader says Bongo will ‘enjoy all his rights
Michaek Amoah, a senior visiting fellow at the London School of Economics, says people in the former French colonies in Africa are tired of leaders clinging to power.
“This is Francophone Spring whereby the anti-French sentiment in several Francophone countries is now having a domino effect from Mali to Burkina Faso to Niger and now to Gabon,” Amoah said.
“If you look across the African continent at the moment, apart from Uganda and Equatorial Guinea, every single country where you find a presidential term extension, they are Francophone. These heads of state can rule for a very long time. In Cameroon, for 41 years and counting,” he added.
*Continue reading from Al Jazeera