Gabon Reopens Borders Ahead of Transitional Leader Inauguration

(Bloomberg) -- Gabon’s military leadership opened the country’s borders as the nation prepares to swear in a general as its transitional president on Monday.

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Land, sea and air borders have been opened with immediate effect, a spokesman for the junta said on state television Saturday. General Brice Nguema, who led soldiers to seize power last week, will be sworn in as transitional president.

The Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions, the name of the junta, said in the broadcast the border opening shows it was “anxious to preserve respect for the rule of law, good relations with our neighbors and all the states of the world, and in order to promote the continuity of the state.” The CTRI lifted a dusk-to-dawn curfew only for travelers.

Gabon’s armed forces seized power on Aug. 30 and placed President Ali Bongo under house arrest as they annulled an election in which he secured a third term. The putsch in the former French colony is the ninth in sub-Saharan Africa in the past three years, and follows a coup in Niger a month earlier.

While the military takeover drew condemnation from the US, Nigeria, France and the African Union, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell cautioned against using force to restore civilian rule, saying the coup is distinct from the others in the region.

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