Central African Republic President Faustin Archange Touadera poses at the presidential palace in Bangui, on 9 August 2023. (Photo by Barbara DEBOUT / AFP)
- There is an agreement to create a roadmap for Gabon to return to civilian rule, a mediator says.
- The Central African Republic’s president is in talks with Gabon’s newly-installed military ruler.
- There is no timeline yet, neither for the return to democracy nor drawing up the plan to move towards democracy.
Central Africa’s mediator for Gabon and the country’s new military ruler have agreed to draw up a “roadmap” for restoring democratic rule following a coup last week, a regime official said.
General Brice Oligui Nguema was sworn in on Monday as interim president after spearheading a coup on August 30 that ended a half-century of rule by the Bongo family.
The oil-rich states joins Mali, Guinea, Sudan, Burkina Faso and Niger among African countries that have undergone coups in the last three years – a trend that has sounded alarm bells in the continent and beyond.
A credible roadmap for a return to civilian rule would be the first step in regaining membership of the African Union.
The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) on Tuesday sent its envoy, Central African Republic President Faustin Archange Touadera, to Libreville for talks with Oligui.
“ECCAS appointed me as a facilitator… to draft a roadmap enabling a swift return to constitutional order, with the agreement of the interim president,” Touadera said in brief remarks on Gabonese television late Wednesday.
A senior official in Oligui’s entourage confirmed that the pair had merely agreed at this stage to drawing up the blueprint.
Neither Touadera nor the official gave details about the plan or a timeline.
The 30 August coup was supported by the army, the police, much of the political opposition and some within the party of ousted president Ali Bongo Ondimba.
He was detained by soldiers moments after he was declared victor of a presidential election tarnished by allegations of fraud.
Touadera told reporters he had also met Ali Bongo, with Nguema’s permission. He did not disclose any details about Bongo’s circumstances or state of mind, saying only that the meeting had been fruitful.
The putsch was also supported by many Gabonese civilians tired of the corruption-tainted Bongo dynasty’s grip on the tiny country, whose oil wealth has made it one of the richest in Africa but where a third of the population lives in poverty.
Bongo had been president for 14 years. He succeeded his father Omar, who ruled the country for 41 years, gaining a reputation for kleptocracy and iron-fisted rule.
Oligui promised on Monday to hold “free, transparent and credible elections” to restore civilian rule but did not give a timeframe.
The 11-nation EECCA subsequently suspended Gabon and ordered the immediate transfer of its headquarters from the Gabon to Equatorial Guinea, according to Equatorial Guinea’s vice president, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue.
UN offers to help
Meanwhile, a UN representative told Gabon’s military leader the UN institutions stood ready to support the country as it transitions back to constitutional order following a coup that ended the Bongo family’s 56 years of dynastic autocracy.
Abdou Abarry, Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary General in Central Africa, met Nguema in Libreville on Wednesday and told him that the UN would assist the country as it made a fresh start.
“Once we know the roadmap, the timetable, once a government will have been appointed, our different agencies will make the necessary contacts and continue to support Gabon,” he said after the meeting, in remarks broadcast on Gabon 24 TV.
Additional reporting by Reuters.
Source link : https://www.news24.com/news24/africa/news/gabon-now-has-a-plan-to-make-a-plan-to-return-to-democracy-20230907
Publish date : 2023-09-07 12:04:21