General Brice Nguema Sworn In as Gabon’s Caretaker President: 10 things you need to Know.
In a dramatic turn of events, General Brice Nguema, the leader of the military junta responsible for the ousting of President Ali Bongo, was officially sworn in as Gabon’s caretaker president. The inauguration ceremony, filled with cheering crowds, took place on Monday, September 4, at Gabon’s presidential palace in the capital city of Libreville.
Here are key details to know about the new interim President of Gabon:
1. Close Ties to the Bongo Family:
General Brice Nguema was known to have strong connections within the Bongo family and its inner circle.
3. Born into a Military Family:
General Nguema was born into a family with a strong military background. He received his military training in Morocco.
4. Service to Omar Bongo:
His career took an impressive turn when he served as an aide-de-camp to Ali Bongo’s father, the late President Omar Bongo, a role he held from 1967 to 2009.
5. Slowdown in Career:
However, his career trajectory began to slow after Ali Bongo assumed the presidency. He was sent abroad to work at Gabon’s Embassies in Morocco and later Senegal as a military attaché.
6. Alleged Involvement in a 2009 Coup Attempt:
During Ali Bongo’s reign, Nguema faced allegations of involvement in an attempted coup led by another General in 2009. A trial was held in Libreville, and although Nguema’s participation was not conclusively established, he was removed from his post and posted to the Gabonese Embassy in Senegal as a military attaché.
7. Unhappiness with Overseas Posting:
Nguema was allegedly unhappy about being sent abroad during this period.
8. Return to Presidential Guard:
A decade later, when Ali Bongo suffered a stroke, Nguema was called back to serve in the presidential guard, this time as the head of intelligence. He had risen through the ranks to become a colonel and later a general.
9. Accusations of Conflict of Interest in 2020:
In 2020, General Nguema faced accusations of a conflict of interest by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project. The organization claimed that he owned property worth over a million dollars in the United States, primarily paid for in cash.
10. Despite Controversy, Remained in Key Roles:
Despite these revelations, Nguema continued to hold positions of significant influence, including heading the presidential guard and overseeing Bongo’s personal security.
General Brice Nguema‘s ascent to the role of caretaker president marks a significant chapter in Gabon’s political landscape. As the nation watches closely, the dynamics between him and the Bongo family, as well as his tenure as interim president, will undoubtedly be subjects of intense scrutiny and speculation.