Gabon wants to regain its diplomatic place after the transitional president's tour

The Gabonese president's diplomatic tour of the sub-region is almost over. While Libreville has been sanctioned and suspended by the Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the African Union, after General Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema took power on 30 August, the Gabonese leader hopes to influence his efforts to return fully to the concert of nations. In three months, he has seen almost all the heads of state in the region.

The Gabonese president has multiplied his visits to the countries of his region, as well as to the various summits. Here, Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema speaks during the COP28 plenary session in Dubai, December 1, 2023. © Rafiq Maqbool / AP

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In the sub-region, only the Angolan president has not yet seen General Oligui Nguema. "Contacts are ongoing. A meeting should take place soon," said Gabonese presidential spokesman Télesphore Obame Ngomo, who remains confident that Libreville will soon return to the concert of nations. "No president has shown a willingness to keep our country under sanctions," he said.

Gabonese advocacy is intense: through bilateral meetings and international summits, General Oligui Nguema travels, consults, explains to everyone why he took power. "We have tried to reassure our peers who have concerns, while pointing to the will of the Gabonese people to live in a new era," said Télesphore Obame Ngomo, adding that the ball is now in the court of other nations.

Libreville believes it has done its utmost. The fact that the coup took place without bloodshed also pleads his case. The transition timetable - demanded by the partners before any sanctions are lifted - was also unveiled almost a month ago.

Gabon says it has received assurances from its neighbours. For example, Cameroon has reportedly pledged "full support" according to General Oligui Nguema.


We hope to get out of this emotional period and move forward " says Télesphore Obame Ngomo. " Libreville now wants to believe in the lifting of sanctions at the extraordinary ECCAS summit, scheduled to take place in Malabo on 15 December.

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