Foreign News

Coup in Gabon as Military Takes Over Power

A group of military officers in central African nation of Gabon staged an apparent coup early Monday morning, seizing the state radio station and declaring their dissatisfaction with President Ali Bongo, who is recovering from a stroke in Morocco.

The government of Gabon declared that it was in control after an attempted coup by army rebels Monday and that it had arrested most of those involved.

Government spokesman Guy-Bertrand Mapangou told the French Press Agency that calm has returned and the situation is under control. According to Mapangou, four have been arrested out of the five rebels, which one is on the run.”

A spokesman for the presidency told Reuters he would make a statement shortly.

The rebel soldiers said in their statement that a New Year’s Eve address by Bongo reinforced doubts about the president’s ability to continue to carry out of the responsibilities of his office,

which was read by Lieutenant Kelly Ondo Obiang, the leader of the self-declared Patriotic Movement of the Defence and Security Forces of Gabon.

The radio message was broadcast at around 4:30 a.m. local time (0530 GMT). A source close to the government said there were gunshots around the national television station, but that the plotters appeared to be a small group of soldiers.


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