During his swearing-in the coup leader in Gabon pledges to return power to civilians

During his swearing-in the coup leader in Gabon pledges to return power to civilians

General Brice-Olivi Nguema was sworn in by Gabon’s Constitutional Court as the country’s interim president during a televised ceremony on Monday, after the military junta ousted President Ali Bongo in a coup last week.

Nguema promised to “return power to civilians” through “free, transparent and credible elections,” but without specifying a date.

And he asked for the participation of all the “active forces of the nation” in drawing up a “new constitution” that “will be adopted through a referendum,” for “institutions more respectful of human rights and democracy.” At the end of this process, he added, “we intend to return power to civilians by organizing free, transparent and credible elections.”

Since his leadership of the military coup on Wednesday, Nagima appears daily surrounded by senior officers from the army, gendarmerie and police forces.

With the exception of a segment of the former opposition, which is still calling for the military to hand over power to civilians, specifically to its candidate, who came second in the elections, it appears that Naghima enjoys the support of a majority of citizens who take to the streets daily to show their support for the army that “liberated them from the Bongo family.”

For more than 55 years, the family has ruled this small oil country, which is considered one of the richest in Central Africa, but its wealth remains confined to the ruling elite, which the opposition and the revolutionaries accuse of “corruption” and “mismanagement.”

Ali Bongo Ondimba , 64, was elected in 2009 after the death of his father, Omar, who led the country for more than 41 years.

Republican Guard

At dawn on Wednesday, the military announced the “end of the regime” of Bongo, less than an hour after announcing his victory in the presidential elections that took place on August 26, accusing him of falsifying the results.

Olegy stressed that the coup took place “without bloodshed.” No deaths or injuries have been reported to date.

The day after the coup, its leaders appointed the Commander of the Republican Guard, General Brice Olegy Nguema (48 years old), to head the “Transitional and Reinstitutionalization Committee.”

The African Union, the European Union, the United Nations, and a large part of Western capitals condemned the coup, but these positions were generally accompanied by an indication that it was “different” from other coups that took place in the continent and affected eight countries within three years, explaining that it followed elections that were suspected of having witnessed fraud. .

European Union Foreign Minister Josep Borrell went so far as to talk about an “institutional coup” that preceded the military coup.

Since the coup, Olegy Nguema has been keen to hold continuous talks with the entire “living force in the nation,” which included clerics, corporate leaders, trade unions, civil society, a number of political parties, former ministers, non-governmental organizations, diplomats, funders, and journalists, during which he took notes and responded at length to questions and complaints.


The new strongman in Libreville asserts that combating corruption and mismanagement will be his top priority, as well as “advancing the economy” and redistributing revenues and wealth to citizens.

On Friday, he promised to organize “free, transparent, credible and calm elections,” without specifying a date.

Before that, he intends to adopt a new constitution “through a referendum,” which guarantees the establishment of “more democratic institutions and respect for human rights,” stressing, in turn, the necessity of “not rushing.”

The curfew imposed by the Bongo regime on the evening of the elections is still in force, although life has returned to normal a day after the coup.

Bongo was placed under house arrest in Libreville, while the lawyers of his wife, Silvia Bongo, who also holds French citizenship, reported that their client was being held without any contact with the outside world.

Moroccan government : Angry reactions to “the killing of two young men who got lost in the waters of the Algerian coast”

Rabat – The killing of two young Moroccans with French citizenship at the hands of the Algerian Coast Guard while they accidentally crossed Algerian territorial waters continues to raise many reactions on social media networks and among various civil and official bodies in Morocco. A group of comments also criticized the Algerian side for “not providing assistance to people stranded” in the middle of the sea while they were practicing jet skiing. Arrows of criticism were also directed at the Moroccan government, considering that it did not make any explicit statement on the matter.

Journalist Bensaïd Rakibi recorded in a post on “Facebook” that the Moroccan government’s silence on the killing of the two Moroccan youths at the hands of Algerian border guards is “incomprehensible,” stressing that Moroccan lives are not cheap.

In the same context, journalist Mustafa El-Fan reproached the minister, the official spokesman for the Moroccan government, Mustafa Paytas, for saying that “the killing of two Moroccan youths by Algerian guards at the border is within the jurisdiction of the judiciary.” “.

What is striking is that the statement of the Public Prosecution in the Moroccan city of Oujda did not contain any reference to the location of the tragic accident, nor to Algeria as a party to the matter. He merely said – according to the Moroccan News Agency – that the Public Prosecution in Oujda ordered the opening of an investigation based on the statements of a person who confirmed that he and four other young men were the victims of a violent accident at sea.

The same source added that it is believed that the five people, who were on board jet skis, lost their way at sea during a cruise. The same source stated that the Public Prosecution Office had instructed the Royal Gendarmerie in Oujda to collect the necessary information to clarify the circumstances of this incident, adding that, as part of the investigation, many people from the families and surroundings of these young men were heard.

Journalist Abd al-Rahim Ariri, director of the “Anfas Press” website and the “Al-Watan Al-Aan” weekly, published a post in which he explained that “the killing of Moroccan civilians by the Algerian army is not new,” explaining that there are precedents for shooting every Moroccan who crossed the border, even by mistake. He said, “There are unofficial estimates indicating that at least 62 Moroccan citizens have been killed on the Moroccan-Algerian border by gunfire from the Algerian military, since 1996, to this day.”

Journalist Omar Asra wrote on his Facebook page: “Imagine if Morocco were shooting tens or hundreds of migrants who cross our borders every day!” Imagine if Spain and Italy were shooting live bullets at anyone who entered their sea waters! This matter cannot even be imagined, because we are faced with countries that respect the law and respect themselves! What if we are talking about defenseless young men lost in the middle of the sea?

Many civil and official bodies joined the line, as a statement by the “National Council for Human Rights” (an official institution) described the incident as “a tragedy at the territorial water borders of Saidia,” stressing that it is “a violation of the right to life and a blatant and dangerous violation of human rights on an unclear border line.” and an undisputed area.”

In a statement, Al-Quds Al-Arabi received a copy of it, the council said that, “based on the collected preliminary data and objective intersections,” it “condemns the use of live bullets by the Algerian Coast Guard forces in the eastern territorial waters of the Mediterranean Sea, towards defenseless citizens, instead of The initiative, as is universally recognized, to provide relief to people lost in the sea and help them, in gross violation of international standards and international human rights law.” Any danger or imminent threat to life.”

For the Council, “what the victims were subjected to is a gross violation of human rights and arbitrary deprivation of the right to life,” and “the act committed by the Algerian Coast Guard is a serious violation of international standards related to protecting the lives and safety of people at sea, especially the requirements of the International Convention.” To protect human life at sea, adopted on November 1, 1974, and the International Convention on Search and Rescue at Sea, adopted on April 27, 1979, as amended in 2004, especially Chapters 1, 2, and 3 of the annex to this Convention, in addition to its clear violation of Article 98 of the adopted United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. On December 10, 1982.”

The Council stressed the legitimate right of the family of a young man whose body is still with the Algerian authorities “to receive his body,” noting the Public Prosecution’s decision and calling on it to publish the results of its investigations.

In the context of institutional communication, the Council highlighted that it had contacted “in the context of the tragedy, the National Institution for Human Rights in Algeria, in order to work to provide Ismail Al-Sanabi, who is in detention in Algeria, with all the guarantees of a fair and public trial, to allow international observers to attend it, and to ensure his physical and psychological integrity.”

Always within the human rights framework, the Rif Association for Human Rights wrote to Maurice Tidball Baines, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions.

In its correspondence, which Al-Quds Al-Arabi received a copy of, the human rights association described the painful incident as “executions” and called on Morris Tidpool Baines to open an urgent investigation into it “and to ensure justice for the victims and their families.”

The correspondent, who was addressed to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights – the United Nations Office at Geneva, reviewed the course of the facts that “date back to Tuesday, August 29, 2023, and related to Moroccan citizens Bilal Kaissi (29 years old) and Abdel Ali Mouchoir (33 years old), They were tragically killed at sea near the border between Morocco and Algeria.”

After the association indicated that the incident was “tragic and worrisome,” it affirmed that “these events constitute a flagrant violation of the right to life, which is guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights covenants.”

The human rights association urged the UN rapporteur “to take the necessary steps to launch an independent investigation into this incident, with the aim of shedding light on the circumstances surrounding the alleged executions,” stressing “the need to hold those responsible for these acts accountable and bring them to justice based on international human rights standards,” the same call. It was directed by the “Moroccan Forum for Democracy and Human Rights,” which demanded the opening of an international investigation sponsored by the United Nations to hold accountable “the Algerian military leaders responsible for the killing of two Moroccan youths near the Algerian maritime borders.”

As for the forum, the Algerian Coast Guard’s killing of two Moroccan citizens and arresting a third is racist and illegal behavior, and this incident represents disturbing developments that affect the right to life and private security.

The forum described the incident as a “heinous crime against humanity,” calling for “the return of the second body, which was thrown by the sea waves, to the shore of Bursay in Algeria, to the family of the perisher, who, along with all living and human consciences, is waiting for the body of their son to be transferred to Moroccan soil for burial.”

The human rights interaction was accompanied by a legal interaction, as the “Morocco Lawyers Club” paid a visit of sympathy and solidarity to the families of the victims. ) of 1982 and the “International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue” (SAR) of 1979.

On the northern shore of the Mediterranean, on the southern shore of which the killing took place, members of the Moroccan community residing in Europe are preparing to protest against the Algerian authorities, according to what was reported by the “Al-Alam” daily.

The manifestations of this protest are distributed through denunciations in front of the Algerian consulates in a number of European countries. The same newspaper quoted Omar Kaouachi, head of the “Moroccans of the World” association, as saying that coordination has been made with a number of Moroccans of the world to carry out protest rallies in front of the Algerian consulates in Belgium, Italy, France and Spain to denounce. With this crime committed against Moroccan immigrants by the Algerian military.

Politically, Moroccan parties entered the line, as the opposition “Popular Movement” party denounced “the Algerian military forces killing two Moroccan youths in cold blood and wounding other youths,” and “strongly deplored this blatant attack,” as it condemned “the Algerian forces’ use of excessive force and shooting.” Unarmed people, whose only fault is that they lost their way because of the weather conditions, and these forces should have helped them instead of targeting their lives.”

The party itself concluded its statement by calling on the national, Algerian and international human rights community and the various concerned institutions to express “condemnation of this aggressive act, which is classified as a crime against humanity.”

Another opposition party expressed its position, through a written question directed by its parliamentary deputy, and the matter relates to the “Federation of the Democratic Left”, which questioned Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch about the killing of a young Moroccan by Algerian fire.