This year more African dictators have been deposed or challenged. The latest to be deposed is Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon, 64, born in 1959 and dictator since 2009. On Wednesday October 30, 2023, senior Gabonese military officers appeared on television and declared that they have made a decision to overthrow Gabon dictator Ali Bongo Ondimba. The coup happened after the state election body announced that Ali Bongo had won a third term, in an controversial election the opposition described as a ‘fraud orchestrated’ by the ruling party..
The announcement of the coup was celebrated by people in streets across Gabon, with putschists mixing with manifests in the capital Libreville and people marching in other cities, including Port-Gentil, Lambaréné, and Franceville.
Following the coup announcement, Brice Oligui Nguema declared that the soldiers were meeting and would soon decide on the new leader of Gabon. Brice Oligui Nguema is the leader of the elite Republican Guard and a cousin of the dictator Ali Bongo. Brice Oligui Nguema was later declared the new leader of Gabon.
Gabon’s coup leaders have put President Ali Bongo Ondimba, surrounded by medical doctors due his deteriorating health, and his family members under house arrest. One of his sons, Noureddin Bongo Valentin, a close adviser and alleged heir to power, has been arrested for “treason”, embezzlement, corruption and falsifying the president’s signature, among other allegations, along with the chief of staff Ian Ghislain Ngoulou, two other presidential advisers and the two top officials in the ruling Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG).
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Ali Bongo: One of African Dictators Who Have Mattered.
Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon, 64, has been dictator since 2009. After being groomed by his father for years, he took over power after his father died. Him and his father's reign have been in power for almost 56 years.
Since inheriting the throne from his father, he has held onto power with an iron grip. However, he has rarely been seen in public over the recent years, and on accasion, with signs of deteriorating health. He is believed to have mostly spend time in hospitals outside the country and slowly appointing, to high positions, people who would protect interests of his relatives and his and his later father Omar Bongo's legacy after him.
One of them is Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda. Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda was appointed Defense Minister of Gabon by Ali Bongo Ondimba February 12, 2019, after the failed coup in January 2019.
She has been serving as the Vice President of Gabon since January 2023 , after serving as the Prime Minister of Gabon since 16 July 2020 ( See Gabon: Christiane Raponda, First Woman Appointed Prime Minister).
Meanwhile, it was reported that Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda was also working with Ali Bongo Ondimba to groom his son Noureddin Bongo Valentin as the next heir to the throne.
Ali Bongo Ondimba's actions are a reminder of what most dictators across Africa have been doing. Some ruthless African dictators have been getting ready for their fate (see here AfroAmerica Network: African Dictators) .
With Ali Bongo gone, the key questions now are:
- who is next among the remaining dictators, especially those mentioned in our past reports ( here Africa: African Dictators of 2021; 3 Down, More to Go)
- what will happen to Vice-President Rose Christiane Raponda?
©2023 AfroAmerica Network
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