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Monday, 7 January 2019

National radio station seized by Gabon army over coup attempt

Gabon’s army has reportedly attempted a coup with soldiers announcing the establishment of a “restoration council” after taking over the national radio station.

 National radio station seized by Gabon army over coup attempt

Reading out a statement on Monday, the military officers condemned President Ali Bongo who addressed his compatriots last Monday from Morocco for the first time since suffering a stroke in October.

A New Year’s address by Bongo “reinforced doubts about the president’s ability to continue to carry out of the responsibilities of his office”, said Lieutenant Kelly Ondo Obiang, leader of the self-declared Patriotic Movement of the Defence and Security Forces of Gabon.

There were reports of shots being fired in Gabon’s capital Libreville.

Bongo, 59, suffered a stroke on October 24 while visiting Saudi Arabia and has since been treated in Morocco.

The president posted in a video message recorded in Rabat and distributed it via social and traditional media last week in which he said, “I am preparing to meet you again soon,” he said.

The US military has deployed soldiers and equipment to Gabon amid fears of violent protests in neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) after its presidential election.

US President Donald Trump told US Congress on Friday the first of about 80 troops arrived in Gabon on Wednesday to protect US citizens and diplomatic facilities should violence break out in DRC’s capital, Kinshasa.

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