APA-Libreville (Gabon) – General Brice Clotaire Oligui-Nguéma is expected to lead the transition in Gabon after the coup against Ali Bongo.
On the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), an account attributed to the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions (CTRI) announced that General Brice Clotaire Oligui-Nguema was “taking over responsibility for managing the country”. A few minutes later, the post was deleted.
A few hours earlier, he was being carried in triumph by his men after the August 30 coup against Ali Bongo Ondimba. On his “official account”, which APA has not yet authenticated, he pledges “to restore democracy through future elections”. This puts an end to any suspense as to the identity of the leader of the putsch against Omar Bongo’s son, while a CTRI communiqué states that the person who will lead the transition will be designated at the end of a meeting of generals scheduled for 3pm today.
Until his appointment as head of the transition is made official, General Oligui-Nguéma has been head of the Republican Guard. A position he has held since April 2020, at the behest of the man he has just deposed. He replaced General Grégoire Kouna, who had held the post since 2009.
A product of the Royal Moroccan Academy in Meknes, who also completed an internship at the commando training center in Gabon’s equatorial forest, he served as aide-de-camp to the late President Omar Bongo Ondimba (1967-2009). When Ali Bongo Odimba came to power on the latter’s death, he suffered a “disgrace” and was posted as military attaché to Morocco, then to Senegal.
On his return to Gabon, Colonel Oligui-Nguema was promoted to head the strategic Directorate of Special Services (DGSS), where he was the eyes and ears of the army. Two years later, he was promoted to Commander of the Republican Guard, an elite corps whose mission is to ensure the security of institutions, the Head of State and members of the constituted bodies.
It was in this outfit that he received a visit from the Minister of Defense, Félicitée Ongouori Ngoubili, in August 2022. On that occasion, Brice Clotaire Oligui-Nguema, now a brigadier general, proclaimed his “honor and loyalty to the President of the Republic”. A year later, as head of the CTRI, he deposed Ali Bongo, proclaimed winner of the presidential election a few minutes earlier by the Gabonese Elections Centre (CGE), for a third term.
Since then, the deposed president has been under house arrest, and those close to him, including his son Nourredine Bongo, have been arrested for “high treason against the institutions of the State, massive misappropriation of public funds, international financial embezzlement in an organized gang, forgery and use of forgeries, falsification of the signature of the President of the Republic, drug trafficking”.