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Niger’s new leaders tell police to kick out French Ambassador

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The junta that seized power in Niger last month has told the police to kick out the French ambassador, a sign of worsening relations with France, which said the coup leaders had no right to do so.

The coup makers are following the example of other military regimes in Mali and Burkina Faso, which have distanced themselves from their former colonial ruler amid anti-French sentiment. The junta said in a statement on Aug. 29, confirmed by its spokesman on Thursday, that it had revoked the visas of Sylvain Itte, the French envoy to Niamey, and his family, and ordered the police to expel him.

The junta accused France of acting against Niger’s interests and said Itte had ignored an invitation to meet with Niger’s new foreign minister. The junta had given Itte 48 hours to leave the country last Friday.

France has demanded the restoration of President Mohamed Bazoum, who was ousted by the coup, and said it would back the efforts of ECOWAS, the West African regional bloc, to reverse the coup.

France has used Niger as a base for its operations against Islamist militants in the Sahel region, who have killed thousands in the past decade. It has about 1,500 troops in Niger who support the local army. It changed its strategy after many of its soldiers left Mali and Burkina Faso following the coups there.

Paris has not accepted the junta’s decision to cancel bilateral military agreements, saying they were signed with Niger’s “legitimate authorities.”

The French foreign ministry also said on Thursday that the coup leader had no power to ask the ambassador to leave, and said it was “always evaluating the security and working conditions of our embassy.”

President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that the ambassador would remain in Niger and reaffirmed France’s support for Bazoum.

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POLITICS

General Nguema appointed new leader of Gabon following coup

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Rewrite this, cut the size in half :
Gabon’s coup leaders named Brice Oligui Nguema as the country’s transitional president on Wednesday, according to a statement read on national television.
“General Brice Oligui Nguema was unanimously appointed chairman of the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions, President of the Transition,” the statement said following a meeting of all military commanders and chiefs of staff.
Gen. Nguema, the former head of the country’s most powerful security unit, the Gabonese Republican Guard, an independent military formation responsible for protecting government officials and buildings, is reportedly a cousin of deposed President Ali Bongo.
According to the statement, Nguema ordered the restoration of internet services as well as the signals of international radio and television channels in Gabon shortly after taking office.
Nguema, the son of a military officer, attended the Royal Military Academy of Meknes in Morocco.
He then served as an aide-de-camp to the ousted leader’s father Omar Bongo, who ruled Gabon for nearly 42 years until his death in 2009.
After Ali Bongo took power in 2009, Nguema was posted to Morocco and Senegal for diplomatic missions. He returned a decade later to command the guard.
The announcement said that Nguema insisted on the need to “maintain calm and serenity in our beautiful country.”
“As we enter a new era, we will guarantee peace, stability and dignity for our beloved Gabon.”
On Saturday, authorities had reportedly ordered an internet shutdown as voting ended in presidential, parliamentary and local elections to avoid the “risk of violence and the spread of disinformation.”
On the same day, authorities announced the suspension of French media channels France 24, RFI and TV5 Monde from broadcasting in Gabon.
Meanwhile, a nightly curfew will remain in place until further notice.
Malika Bongo Ondimba, the daughter of the deposed Gabonese president, sent her congratulations to General Nguema in a post on the social network X, formerly known as Twitter.
She contested in last Saturday’s legislative elections.
Gabonese draped in the colors of the country’s flag — green, yellow and blue — took to the streets to show their support for the coup leaders, videos on social media and in local media showed.
“The answer to an electoral coup is a military coup. We thank the army for acting with dignity. The results were rigged, but for God’s sake, the military took charge,” Noel Koumba told news portal GabonActu.
Guy Serges Moussavou, another protestor, said: “We had been waiting for this moment for a long time. We thought the military didn’t have the guts, but they disproved us.”
“For us, the elections were rigged, yet we had voted for change. But God listened to his people.”
According to local media reports, jubilant protestors tore down posters bearing an image of the president of the ruling Gabonese Democratic Party in the capital Libreville and replaced them with those of the opposition, mainly of the consensual candidate in last week’s presidential election, Albert Ondo Ossa.
Elsewhere, Gabonese nationals living in Senegal were dispersed by police after they tried to storm the Gabonese embassy in the capital Dakar to show their support for the coup. Videos on social media showed dozens of Gabonese singing their national anthem in front of the embassy.
A group of senior Gabonese army officers appeared on national television early Wednesday and announced they had seized power.
The move came shortly after the Gabonese Election Center confirmed that incumbent President Bongo officially won a third term as president with 64.27% of the vote.
Bongo had been in power for more than a decade.
Gabon is the latest African country to witness a recent military coup after Niger last month and Mali in 2022.

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The Gabonese military has taken control of the government in a coup.

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A group of soldiers from Gabon has taken control of the nation, asserting that the recent general election lacks credibility. They appeared on national television to communicate their stance, stating that they represent Gabon’s security and defense forces.

According to reports, the election results have been nullified, borders are closed temporarily, and state institutions have been dissolved. In the capital city of Libreville, there were audible sounds of gunfire following the televised declaration.

Gabonese military officers announced on television the cancellation of elections and dissolution of institutions, claiming they have taken power on Wednesday. (Screen capture)

Incumbent president Ali Bongo secured a third term in the election with 64.27% of the vote. The opposition had criticized the election as fraudulent due to delays and irregularities.

The announcement of the election result was made during the early hours by Michel Stephane Bonda, the head of elections. Bongo’s main opponent, Albert Ondo Ossa, came in second with 30.77%. The officers who appeared on television claimed that they were acting in the name of the Gabonese people and seeking to end the current regime in order to protect peace. Following the presidential, parliamentary, and legislative vote, concerns over potential unrest were heightened. The election saw Bongo aiming to extend his family’s longstanding rule, while the opposition pushed for change in the resource-rich but economically challenged nation.

The transparency of the electoral process was questioned due to a lack of international observers, suspension of foreign broadcasts, and measures such as cutting internet access and imposing a nationwide night curfew. Source: Reuters.

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MAKUTANO Network Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Innovative “Forum 2023” in Côte d’Ivoire

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As MAKUTANO, the influential business network of the Democratic Republic of Congo, approaches its 10th anniversary, it continues to push the boundaries of innovation. With a firm belief that Africa’s prosperity hinges on robust partnerships between African nations, MAKUTANO proudly announces its groundbreaking “Forum 2023,” set to take place entirely “off-site” in Côte d’Ivoire.

The event is set to bring together fifty Congolese business leaders and high-performing investors, alongside a delegation of public decision-makers led by His Excellency, Prime Minister Jean Michel Sama Lukonde. This dynamic group will converge in Abidjan on the 20th and 21st of September, engaging in a series of collaborative discussions with a diverse array of 100 key decision-makers spanning both the public and private sectors across the continent.

The significance of the Forum 2023 lies not only in its unique format but also in its underlying mission. MAKUTANO’s emphasis on fostering strong inter-African partnerships underscores the understanding that the continent’s progress is intricately linked to collaborative efforts. By facilitating direct interactions among business leaders, investors, and government officials from different nations, the event seeks to catalyze discussions that could lead to innovative solutions, strategic alliances, and cross-border initiatives.

MAKUTANO’s choice of Côte d’Ivoire as the host country for this significant event also carries symbolic weight. The country, known for its economic dynamism and welcoming business environment, serves as an ideal backdrop for these crucial exchanges. The “hors les murs” approach—meaning “outside the walls”—represents a departure from traditional conference settings, offering participants a chance to connect in a relaxed yet stimulating atmosphere, away from the confines of convention centers.

As Africa stands on the precipice of various opportunities and challenges, the Forum 2023 is poised to contribute significantly to the continent’s growth trajectory. By facilitating direct engagement between the movers and shakers of Congolese and Ivorian business, politics, and entrepreneurship, MAKUTANO is paving the way for a new era of collaboration, partnership, and shared success.

As the countdown to September begins, anticipation builds for this transformative event, which promises to reshape the way business networks interact, collaborate, and innovate on the African continent.

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