Gabon's coup leader Nguema takes oath of office today

General Brice Oligui Nguema, who came to power in Gabon’s coup last week will be sworn in as “transitional president” today.

He is taking control for an unspecified period after overthrowing the country’s 55-year Bongo dynasty, amid the call by the opposition to hand over power.

Nguema, the head of the elite Republican Guard, led officers in a military coup on Wednesday against President Ali Bongo Ondimba, scion of a family that had ruled for more than five decades.

The ousting came just moments after Bongo, 64, was proclaimed victor in last month’s presidential election — a result branded a fraud by the opposition.

The putsch was “bloodless”, according to Oligui, with no reports of deaths or injuries.

The coup leaders said they had dissolved the nation’s institutions, cancelled the election results, and closed the borders, later adding they had decided to reopen them.

Other countries have not acknowledged Oligui as Gabon’s legitimate leader and he faces pressure to spell out his plans for restoring civilian rule.

Oligui was lifted up triumphantly by his troops following the announcement of the coup, and in the days since has been seen flanked by generals and colonels.

He has repeated his promise to organise “free, transparent, credible and peaceful elections”, without specifying when they would take place but saying that a new constitution must first be adopted by referendum.

On Friday, he vowed to create more democratic institutions that respect human rights, but said he would proceed “without haste”.

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