The son of ousted Gabonese President Ali Bongo, along with several of his associates, has been charged with high treason and corruption.
According to a report from the Agence France-Presse (AFP), the suspects are currently being held in detention.
A total of 10 people have been indicted on a range of serious allegations, including corruption, embezzlement of public funds, and money laundering, as revealed by Libreville prosecutor, Andre-Patrick Roponat.
However, at present, seven of the indicted individuals have been placed in detention, while an intriguing development involves Sylvia Bongo, the wife of Ali Bongo, who has been put under house arrest in the capital city of Libreville.
Authorities have cited “her protection” as the reason behind this move. Sylvia Bongo had previously been speculated to be preparing her son, Noureddine Bongo, to succeed his father in a political capacity. In December 2019, Noureddin Bongo was appointed as the general coordinator of presidential affairs by his father.
On August 30, 2023, military leaders orchestrated a coup shortly after declaring Ali Bongo, who had held power in the oil-rich central African nation since 2009, as the winner of a presidential election. The opposition and the leaders of the coup accused Ali Bongo of widespread corruption and poor leadership, denouncing the election outcome as fraudulent.
During the coup, Ali Bongo’s son, five senior cabinet members, and his wife Sylvia Bongo were all detained by the military.
Following the takeover, the military leaders appointed a key opponent of the ousted president, Raymond Sima, as interim prime minister. Sima, who had served as prime minister from 2012 to 2014, had transitioned into an opposition figure and ran against Bongo in both the 2016 and 2023 elections, although he fared poorly in the most recent polls.
In a move, the military junta announced on September 6 that Mr. Bongo was free to travel abroad.
Additionally, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) suspended Gabon’s membership during an extraordinary summit held in Djibloho, Equatorial Guinea. ECCAS condemned the use of force to resolve political conflicts, reflecting the international community’s concerns about the situation in Gabon.
Under the leadership of General Brice Nguema, the military junta in Gabon has declared a two-year transition period to democracy, and military cooperation with France has resumed.