Agwe Alert: Gabon Coup Update
Agwe Comment: The Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions (CTRI) in Gabon announced that air, land, and sea borders reopened on the 2nd September 2023. However, the national curfew within the country will remain in effect for the time being. On the 5th September, General Brice Nguema was sworn in as the transitional president, and shorter after declared that power would subsequently be returned to the people through free and transparent elections.
Analysis of AIS transmissions in the area has revealed that vessels located in the primary port of Libreville have commenced their departures, and additional vessels are arriving. This trend is expected to persist, with vessels continuing to operate in Gabonese ports without interruption. Furthermore, air traffic at Libreville International Airport has resumed following the announcement of border openings, facilitating potential crew transfers within the country.
Agwe Assessment: In 2020, the US anti-corruption organization OCCRP alleged that General Nguema and the Bongo family had purchased property in the United States. With the general being accused of corruption and having spent a majority of his career in the Bongo family's inner circle, it is unlikely that this transition will mark a fresh start for the government in Gabon. However, the movement has managed to garner significant support from the public while also uniting the previously divided army, which had long been split along ethnic lines. These factors indicates that the geopolitical situation in Gabon will likely begin to stabilise.
Heightened security measures are likely to be in place in major cities and at all ports of entry and exit. This will almost certainly be in place until at least mid-September. Caution is strongly advised when operating in Gabon. Government facilities, security installations, and areas with large concentrations of police or soldiers should be avoided.