Was Gabon’s rebellion a “good” coup?

By September 8, 2023

Gabon (MNN) — A regional mediator and Gabon’s new military ruler agree to create a plan for restoring democratic rule following last week’s coup.

No other details have emerged yet, but a West African financial executive tells Reuters that Gabon’s August 30 military takeover was a “good coup.” It was the eighth rebellion in West and Central Africa since 2020.

“This is not an issue of Islam coming in like some of the other situations in Central Africa, where you have ISIS or al Qaeda activities,” World Mission’s Greg Kelley says.

“This is purely internal turmoil.”

After taking office on Monday as Gabon’s interim president, General Brice Oligui Nguema promised “free, transparent, and credible elections.” Oligui led the August 30 coup that ousted long-time president Ali Bongo Ondimba.

Bongo took the helm in 2009 following his father’s death, who had ruled Gabon since 1967 in a kleptocracy. Gabon may have a history of corruption, but it is one of the most stable countries in Central Africa.

Gabon highlighted in green. (Wikimedia Commons)

“We’re talking about a majority Christian country; most statistics will say about two-thirds to three-quarters of the country are born-again Christians,” Kelley says.

Kelley will soon travel to the neighboring Republic of the Congo to meet with World Mission partners. “I’ll understand more on the ground what’s going on. But these kinds of things definitely trickle over,” he says.

“It’s not just the country itself that’s affected. It’s all of its neighbors.”

Pray for continued peace and stability in Gabon and the Republic of the Congo, also known as Congo-Brazzaville. Peace allows believers to distribute audio Bibles and start listening groups. Learn more about World Mission’s approach here.

“We’ve had significant activity in neighboring Congo-Brazzaville, which has been terrorized by conflict for the last 25 years,” Kelley says.

“Right now, they’re in a fairly stable position. But something like this [happening] in the next-door neighbor, maybe it will trigger further unrest in Congo.”



Oil wealth has made Gabon one of the richest in Africa but a third of the population lives in poverty. Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of Stevy Opong/Unsplash.