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Who is General Oligui Nguema, Gabon's new strongman?

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General Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema was declared, Wednesday (Aug. 30) head of the military junta that seized power from Ali Bongo, shortly after his controversial re-election.

His unit, army colonels, regular soldiers and others announced in the early hours of Wednesday that they were now in charge.

Nguema is one of the most influential figures in Gabon.

As the son of a military officer, he walked in his father's footsteps. He trained at Morocco's Royal Military Academy.

Oligui Nguema used to be very close to Ali Bongo's father, the late President Omar Bongo.

When Ali rose to power in October 2009, Nguema was sent to Morocco and Senegal for diplomatic missions officially; to keep him away from power reports have claimed.

When he returned to Gabon he took over as head of the secret service. Then in 2019 was appointed  head of the republican guard, an elite unit in charge of the president’s security that vows him loyalty.

During the 55 years of Bongo family rule, officials which includes General Oligui, have been accused of plundering the coffers of the oil-rich nation.

In France, nine members of the Bongo family, are under investigation and some face preliminary charges of embezzlement, money laundering and other forms of corruption, according to French NGO to Sherpa.

Analysts have urged caution about results of the coup.

As a new chapter in Gabon's history opens, all eyes are now set on its military.

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