The military junta in Gabon has decided to release Ali Bongo from house arrest. This decision comes eight days after Bongo was ousted from his position as the president of Gabon.
The events leading to this unexpected turn of events began when Ali Bongo was declared the winner of a controversial third-term election by the electoral umpire. The news of his re-election was followed by his sudden removal from power.
On Monday, Brice Nguema, an army general with close family ties to Bongo, was sworn in as the interim president. Nguema had previously served as a bodyguard to Bongo’s late father and had also headed the country’s elite military unit, the republican guard.
The official statement announcing Ali Bongo’s release from house arrest was signed by Brice Nguema himself. According to Ulrich Manfoumbi, the military spokesperson, “Given his state of health, the former President of the Republic Ali Bongo Ondimba is free to move about. He may, if he wishes, travel abroad for medical checkups.”
Ali Bongo’s presidency had its roots in a dynastic succession, as he took office following the death of his father, Omar Bongo, who had ruled Gabon from 1967 to 2009.
While this development marks a significant change in the political landscape of Gabon, the military junta has yet to announce a concrete plan for transitioning back to civilian rule, leaving the future of the nation uncertain.