Brice Oligui Nguema, head of the Republican Guard, is the man at the head of the soldiers who deposed Ali Bongo Ondimba in Gabon. What decisions will he make?
Rumors announced that Brice Oligui Nguema, boss of the Republican Guard, had been arrested. It is ultimately nothing. While waiting for the soldiers to meet at 14 p.m. Gabonese time, Brice Oligui Nguema is also the new master of the game in Libreville. A video, which circulates on social networks, shows Ali Bongo asking Gabon's "friends" to "make noise" and claims not to be aware of the development of the situation.
Brice Oligui Nguema has already given his very first interview to Le Monde newspaper. The soldier claims not to have declared himself president of the transition. "It's a debate that we are going to have with all the generals," he explains. Everyone will put forward ideas and the best ones will be chosen, as well as the name of the person who will lead the transition”.
In the service of the old regime
Regarding Ali Bongo, Oligui Nguema remains evasive. The only certainty: “He is retired, he enjoys all his rights. He’s a normal Gabonese, like everyone else.” Bongo Ondimba is therefore no longer President of Gabon. It now remains to be seen whether, following this "coup d'etat", the transition will be ensured by the military exclusively or whether they will call on the Alternance 2023 platform and Albert Ondo Ossa, visibly winner of the presidential election last Saturday. , the process of which was frozen by the junta.
Brice Oligui Nguema is the son of a Gabonese general officer. He was appointed commander-in-chief of the Republican Guard, replacing Grégoire Kouna, in April 2020. He was dismissed in 2009 when Ali Bongo came to power, before making his return to the GR in October 2019, as General Manager of Special Services, following the departure of Frédéric Bongo, Ali's half-brother.
he also chose the profession of arms very early by joining the current Republican Guard of Gabon. Trained at the Royal Military Academy of Meknes in Morocco and having followed the commando course at the Commando Training Center in the equatorial forest of Gabon, Brice Oligui Nguema was quickly noticed by the military hierarchy of the Praetorian Guard and became one of the aides camp of Omar Bongo and remained so until his disappearance in June 2009.
Brice Oligui Nguema has, in his entourage, Ulrich Manfoumbi, the colonel who spoke on public television, and Aimé-Vivian Oyini, both from the Republican Guard. The general is called by his men to take the presidency.
The opposition condemned to remain opposition?
It now remains to be seen what will happen to the opposition. After years spent alongside the Bongo father and son, Brice Oligui Nguema remains a veteran of the Bongo regime. Can the opposition, which no doubt expects to be called upon to govern after the certain victory of Ondo Ossa at the polls, have a bad surprise and be dismissed?
Everything should be clarified at the beginning of the afternoon after the meeting between colonels. There is no doubt that Alternation 2023 will be suspended by the decision of Brice Oligui Nguema, who can count on popular support after removing Ali Bongo Ondimba. Even the soldier still seems hesitant about the line to take. “I can't tell you anything, you will discover things as you go,” he explains simply.