Who is General Brice Oligui Nguema, New Leader of Gabon?

Army officers who seized power in a coup in Gabon have named General Brice Oligui Nguema as the transitional leader. Generals met within hours of the coup to discuss who would lead the transition and agreed by a unanimous vote to appoint Gen Nguema, former head of the presidential guard.

The deposed President, Ali Bongo, appeared in a video at his home, calling on his “friends all over the world” to “make noise” on his behalf. Bongo’s overthrow ended his family’s 55-year hold on power.

Crowds in Libreville and elsewhere celebrated the army’s declaration. But the coup was condemned by the United Nations, the African Union and France, which had close ties to the Bongo family.

The U.S. state department urged Gabon’s military to “preserve civilian rule” and urged “those responsible to release and ensure the safety of members of government”. The UK condemned the “unconstitutional military takeover” of power.

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