By Our Reporter
Brice Nguema, the leader of Gabon’s military junta, has been sworn in as the nation’s interim president this afternoon, 4th September 2023.
General Nguema led last Wednesday’s coup against Ali Bongo, toppling the president shortly after he was named winner of a disputed election.
Crowds of cheering civilians turned up at his inauguration – a sign there is some support for the military.
However, there are concerns Gen Nguema’s rule will be a continuation of the 55-year Bongo dynasty.
Ali Bongo’s father, Omar, was in power for 41 years before he died in 2009 and was succeeded by his son.
The general spent most of his career in the Bongo’s inner circle and is even thought to be Ali Bongo’s cousin.
A military parade was held at Monday’s inauguration, which took place at the presidential palace in Gabon’s capital, Libreville.
Sympathisers of the new military leadership attended the ceremony. Former ministers from the ousted government also showed up, but were booed by a crowd of junta sympathizers.
The inauguration is the latest in a series of takeovers across West and Central Africa.
Gabon is the sixth Francophone country to fall under military rule in the last three years as former colonial power France struggles to maintain its influence on the continent.
Gabon has been suspended from the African Union following the coup, which has been condemned by the UN and France.