Gabon’s deposed President Ali Bongo Ondimba has been freed from house arrest by mutinous soldiers, a week after they took control. The military leaders, known as the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions (CTRI), have announced that Bongo is now able to move freely and even travel abroad for medical check-ups. The exact state of Bongo’s health remains uncertain, but a video that went viral on social media showed him limping during a meeting with a United Nations official.
This turn of events comes after the military junta seized power on August 30, claiming the presidential election was fraudulent and dissolved state institutions. Bongo, who assumed office in 2009 following his father’s death, won a controversial third term in the election. In an effort to ensure a peaceful transition back to civilian rule, General Brice Oligui Nguema has been appointed as the chairman of the CTRI and president of the transitional government.
Gabon’s recent coup marks the eighth in West and Central Africa since 2020, highlighting the unstable nature of politics in the region.
Gabon is a Central African nation with a population of over 2 million. It shares borders with Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, and the Republic of Congo. As a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Gabon produces around 181,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
The release of Ali Bongo Ondimba has raised hopes for a peaceful resolution in Gabon and the restoration of democratic governance. However, the situation remains fragile as the country attempts to navigate through this challenging period. The eyes of both the Gabonese people and the international community are now focused on the CTRI’s leadership and their ability to guide Gabon back to stability and prosperity.
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