Gabon’s coup leaders have declared the immediate reopening of the country’s borders following this week’s military takeover, marking a pivotal moment in the nation’s political landscape.
Colonel Ulrich Manfoumbi Manfoumbi, the spokesperson for the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions (CTRI), the entity formed in the aftermath of the coup, announced during a televised address on Saturday.
He conveyed the rationale behind this decision, stating, “Our primary objective is to ensure the continuity of the state while demonstrating our unwavering commitment to fulfilling our international obligations.”
“In our earnest endeavor to uphold the principles of the rule of law, maintain amicable relations with our neighboring nations, and foster goodwill within the international community, the CTRI has chosen to reopen Gabon’s land, air, and sea borders with immediate effect,” Colonel Manfoumbi declared.
The closure of Gabon’s borders had been enforced shortly after a group of high-ranking Gabonese military officers took to national television on Wednesday, proclaiming their seizure of power.
This development unfolded in the wake of the Gabonese Election Center’s official confirmation that incumbent President Ali Bongo had secured a third term in office, winning the election with an impressive 64.27% of the vote.
President Bongo, who had held power for over a decade, was swiftly removed from office by the coup leaders, who designated General Brice Oligui Nguema as the transitional president. General Nguema is scheduled to be sworn in on Monday, marking a pivotal moment in the nation’s political transition.
On the eve of his inauguration, President-elect Nguema initiated a dialogue with the diplomatic corps in Gabon and representatives of civil society. During this meeting, he outlined a vision of comprehensive reforms aimed at nurturing a robust democracy and enhancing governance to improve the lives of the Gabonese people.
In his address, President-elect Nguema emphasized, “Our commitment to building a strong democracy is unwavering. We intend to embark on a path that prioritizes the well-being and prosperity of the Gabonese citizens. These reforms are not merely symbolic but concrete steps towards achieving a more just and equitable society.”
The international community is closely monitoring developments in Gabon, particularly the coup’s aftermath and the nation’s transition towards a new political era. As the borders reopen, Gabon seeks to assure its neighbors and the world that it remains committed to stability, democracy, and fulfilling its international obligations, signaling hope for a peaceful and prosperous future in the country.