Gabon soldiers seize radio station in coup attempt

Gabon soldiers seize radio station in coup attempt

Since 2009, President Ali Bongo has been in power but has been out of the country since October following reports he had a stroke.

Gondjout's call comes after a spokesperson of the main opposition coalition, Claye Martial Obame Akué, denied any links between the soldiers and the opposition outfit. In Libreville, expensive western hotels overlook the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the capital's hillside shanties to the east. Ali Bongo succeeded his father Omar Bongo in 2009 and narrowly won re-election in 2016 amid violence and accusations of fraud.

The soldier said a "restoration council" would work to bring democracy back to Gabon.

Shots were reportedly fired as well as tear gas deployed on citizens outside.

Not long after the incident, a government spokesman said that four out of five of the soldiers involved had been arrested.

In a video circulating on social media, Ondo Obiang is seen in a radio studio wearing military fatigues and a green beret as he reads the statement, which was broadcast at about 4.30am local time (0530 GMT).

According to the BBC's Firmain Eric Mbadinga, the coup attempt was a huge surprise because the army has always been loyal to the family of the president. The country is said to have more pipelines than roads.

It has a population of 1.8 million people, with an average life expectancy of 62 years.

Professional Grievance Mob Going After Ellen for Supporting Kevin Hart | Trending
Others, however, were upset with what was viewed as an "attempt to speak for the LGBTQ community as a whole". People have pointed out that they haven't been able to find any of the apologies.

What more do we know about President Bongo?

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A group of five soldiers sought to take power while Ali Bongo, the country's ailing president, recovers overseas following a stroke while he was in Saudi Arabia in October.

In a brief new year's speech, the 59-year-old declared the country was "indivisible" and acknowledged his health problems without giving details.

In their coup declaration, the soldiers called the president's message "a pitiful sight". He has also been condemned for his membership of the Freemasons, whose Gabonese chapter he leads.

Gabon has enjoyed relative political stability since its independence in 1960 and has had just three presidents over half a century, two of them from one family.

In a bid to reduce its dependence on oil, Gabon has looked to diversify its economy.

USA troops deployed to the central African nation of Gabon last week in response to potential violence in neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) remain committed to their mission despite prospective unrest linked to a failed coup attempt on Monday.

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