Gabon coup leaders name General Brice Oligui Nguema as new leader

Libreville, Gabon

Army officers who seized power in a coup in Gabon on Wednesday have named General Brice Oligui Nguema as the country’s transitional leader.

Gen Nguema was earlier carried triumphally through the streets of the capital Libreville by his troops.

The deposed President, Ali Bongo, has appeared in a video at his home, calling on his “friends all over the world” to “make noise” on his behalf.The former French colony is one of Africa’s major oil producers.

Mr Bongo’s overthrow ended his family’s 55-year hold on power in the Central African state.

Army officers appeared on TV in the early hours of Wednesday to say they had taken power.

They said they had annulled the results of Saturday’s election in which Mr Bongo was declared the winner but which the opposition said was fraudulent.

The officers also said they had arrested one of Mr Bongo’s sons for treason.

Within hours, generals met to discuss who would lead the transition and agreed by a unanimous vote to appoint Gen Nguema, former head of the presidential guard.

Gen Nguema told France’s Le Monde newspaper that Gabonese people had had enough of Ali Bongo’s rule, and that he should not have run for a third term.

“Everyone talks about this, but no one takes responsibility,” he said. “So the army decided to turn the page.”

Crowds in Libreville and elsewhere celebrated the army’s declaration.

Source : BBC News

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