Gabon’s military-installed prime minister has outlined plans for a “national dialogue” to be organised next year, which would pave the way for drawing up a new constitution.
Nearly a month after military leaders ousted President Ali Bongo Ondimba after 14 years at the helm of the oil-rich country, Raymond Ndong Sima told Newsmen that an appeal for contributions towards the dialogue would go out from next week.
Coup leader General Brice Oligui Nguema, who was swiftly sworn in as transitional president, has promised to hand back the country to civilian rule with elections after a transitional period but no timeframe has been given.
Elsewhere, France’s ambassador to Niger Republic landed in Paris today, after weeks of tensions with the post-coup regime in the West African country who demanded his expulsion.
The return of the ambassador comes two months after a coup in Niger ousted its pro-Paris president and prompted a souring in relations between France and its former colony, with Niger’s new rulers demanding his departure.
Meanwhile, US Defence chief says the United States will continue to support civilian-led militaries in Africa, censuring a series of recent coups as he outlined Washington’s security strategy in the continent.
During a trip to Angola, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said Africa needs militaries that serve their citizens and not the other way round.
Austin was in Angola on the last leg of a three-country tour, including stops in Djibouti and Kenya, aimed at “strengthening partnerships” on the continent, where China and Russia have enjoyed rising clout.
Niger is among several nations to have undergone coups since 2020, along Burkina Faso, Guinea, Gabon and Mali.