Success of Gabon’s Transition Depends on “involvement of everyone”: Archbishop

Archbishop Jean-Patrick Iba-Ba of Libreville Archdiocese in Gabon. Credit: Libreville Archdiocese

The success of Gabon’s transitional government put in place following the August 30 military  coup  that ousted President Ali Bongo from power will depend on the “involvement of everyone,” the Catholic Archbishop of Libreville has said.

In a statement issued Wednesday, September 27, Archbishop Jean-Patrick Iba-Ba says, “Since the night of Wednesday August 30, 2023, our country has embarked on a decisive phase in its history, through a transition designed to restore Gabon's institutions.”

“The success of this transition will depend, in reality, on the involvement of everyone,” Archbishop Iba-Ba says, and adds, “Efforts must therefore be made, both by the transitional authorities and by all those involved in the political, economic and social life of our country.”

“As Christians, we are invited to support, through prayer, the actions that must be taken for the good of all Gabonese,” the Local Ordinary of Libreville Archdiocese says in the statement.

The Gabonese Archbishop goes on to invite the people of God to “pray, during each Eucharistic celebration, ‘The prayer for the period of Transition in Gabon’, so that we may all arrive, together, in unity, peace, justice and reconciliation at the desired results.”


He directs that the prayer be said “after the post-communion prayer”.

The August 30 announcement by Gabonese military officers that they had seized power came shortly after President Bongo was declared winner of the August 26 presidential poll. Mr. Bongo was placed under house arrest and General Brice Oligui Nguema was appointed leader of the transition.

General Nguema was sworn in as transitional president of the West African nation in the presidential palace in the capital, Libreville, on September 4. The ceremony had army officials, and religious leaders among those in attendance. 

In his speech after being sworn in, General Nguema said his administration intends to “return power to civilians by organizing new elections that will be free, transparent, credible, and peaceful.”

General Nguema released overthrown President Bongo from house arrest on September 6.

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Below is the prayer for the transitional period in Gabon.

Prayer for the Period of Transition in Gabon

Eternal and Almighty Father, Creator of the world, from Whom all good comes, we praise and thank You, for You are the Source of all we have and all we are. Rekindle in our hearts love, peace, tranquility and harmony during this time of transition; and nourish us with your goodness and mercy.

Lord Jesus Christ, only-begotten Son of the Father, You who reconciled men with the Father, touch hearts, especially those of all those who have been wounded, so that all Gabonese men and women may be reconciled in this time of transition. Heal our people of their wounds and give us the grace to forgive, so that together we can commit ourselves to building a true nation, where unity, truth, justice and peace reign.

Holy Spirit, You who enliven, sanctify and illuminate human projects, enlighten our minds so that we may all work towards the advent of a new Gabon.


Holy Virgin Mary, you who watched over God's only Son, watch over the Transition authorities, cover them with your protective mantle, intercede for them with your Son, so that they may remain faithful to God and to their commitments, and act in the sole interest of Gabon and all its inhabitants.

Let us give glory to the Almighty Father, to his Son Jesus Christ, the Lord, to the Spirit who dwells in our hearts, for ever and ever. Amen.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.