Ensuring Good Neighbourly Ties

A 24-hour official visit to Cameroon yesterday 6 December, 2023 by the current leader of Gabon carries high significance in terms of symbol and diplomatic stance.

Since General Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema, President of the Transition, President of the Gabonese Republic on 30 August, 2023, came to power, he has been to several countries of the Economic and Monetary Community of the Central African (CEMAC). The objective being to seek some approval following his accession to power through a military takeover. Of course, no one could readily give a nod to such an approach to governance at a time when all nations are preaching the virtues of democracy and forging on to ensure that leaders work in tandem with their people. That is clearly why Cameroon had to align with the positions of sub-regional bodies, in particular the Conference of Heads of State and Government of ECCAS, within the framework of the Central African Peace and Security Council (COPAX) not only to condemn the coup, but seek solutions for a return to constitutional order in Gabon.
Evidently, democratic narratives have not always found a common ground across the African continent for a long time and when disruptions do occur, the best way forward would be for nations to be able to sit down and iron out differences that could hamper progress either at the sub-regional or bilateral levels. With Cameroon and Gabon sharing borders and having a common cultural, historical and geographic links, there is need for constant concertation, no matter the setbacks.
In addition, President Paul Biya has demonstrated a strong ability in holding on to the values that bind CEMAC countries, stepping in most often to quench fire within any of the neighbouring nations. Cameroon and Gabon equally belong to the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). Meaning that what affects one party should be of interest to both countries.
Although the option by General Oligui against the then order existing power in Gabon could not have been viewed with a positive eye by African and other world leaders, ECCAS countries immediately took steps to ensure a speedy return to normalcy in the country. Thus, President Faustin Archange Touadera of the Central African Republic, who is also the current President of the CEMAC Heads of State Conference, was assigned the role to mediate among the different factions in Gabon.
This certainly means that not all the 2.3 million Gabones...



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