Gabon’s new military leader was sworn in as the head of the country Monday, less than a week after it ousted the president in an apparent coup.

Gen. Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema was sworn in inside the presidential palace in front of government officials, military and local leaders in the capital of Libreville. Oligui is a cousin of former President Ali Bongo Ondimba, who was ousted from his office last week and whose family had ruled the nation for more than five decades.

Oligui, a head of the republican guard and a former bodyguard of Bongo’s father, said at the swearing-in ceremony that the military took over without any bloodshed and vowed to restore power to the people through free elections.

“With the new government, made up of experienced people, we’re going to give everyone a chance to hope,” he said.

Hours before the mutiny last week, Bongo had just won another term as president in a vote that was plagued with irregulates and a lack of transparency. A spokesperson for the new government said last week that people around Bongo had been arrested for “high betrayal of state institutions, massive embezzlement of public funds [and] international financial embezzlement.”

Nine members of Bongo’s family are also under criminal investigation in France for embezzlement and money laundering.

The U.S. has also voiced its concerns over the conflict in the Central African nation.

“The United States is deeply concerned by evolving events in Gabon. We remain strongly opposed to military seizures or unconstitutional transfers of power,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said last week.  “We urge those responsible to release and ensure the safety of members of government and their families and to preserve civilian rule.”

The Associated Press contributed.

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