Republic of Gabon – failed coup

“Staatsgreep in Gaboen” misluk – 7 Januarie 2019

A small group of soldiers has tried to seize power in Gabon while the country’s president, Ali Bongo, is undergoing medical treatment abroad, but the coup attempt was quickly defeated, according to the government.
FAILED – South Africa has noted with grave concern the attempted coup d’état undertaken in the Republic of Gabon this morning (07 January 2019) by elements of the military. South Africa condemns in the strongest possible terms the attempted coup to overthrow the democratically elected Government in the Republic of Gabon. In this regard, South Africa reaffirms the African Union principle of the total rejection…
Three soldiers wearing the green beret of the Republican Guard were visible on a video of the speech circulating on social media

Three soldiers wearing the green beret of the Republican Guard were visible on a video of the speech circulating on social media

LIBREVILLE (Reuters) – Gabon foiled an attempted military coup on Monday, killing two suspected plotters and capturing seven others just hours after they took over state radio in a bid to end 50 years of rule by President Ali Bongo’s family.

Government spokesman Guy-Bertrand Mapangou announced the deaths and arrests after soldiers briefly seized the radio station and broadcast a message saying Bongo was no longer fit for office after suffering a stroke in Saudi Arabia in October.

The quick failure of Monday’s coup and the lack of widespread support suggest further efforts to overthrow Bongo are unlikely, analysts said. But the attempt alone shows a growing frustration with a government weakened by the President’s secretive medical leave.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-gabon-coup/gabon-arrests-four-military-officers-after-coup-attempt-idUSKCN1P10FE

***

A small group of soldiers has tried to seize power in Gabon while the country’s president, Ali Bongo, is undergoing medical treatment abroad, but the coup attempt was quickly defeated, according to the government.

The incident began at 4:30 a.m. local time on Monday when Lieutenant Kelly Ondo Obiang was heard on national radio, saying Bongo’s address to the nation on New Year’s Eve had reinforced their doubts about the president’s ability to serve.

Obiang said his group was setting up a “restoration council” to restore democracy and called on other soldiers to join, urging them get weapons to take control of military bases, security checkpoints, airports, and other forms of transportation.

“[We] and security forces concerned with saving democracy and preserving the integrity of the national territory and national cohesion have decided to take our responsibility,” Obiang said, with two armed soldiers standing behind him.

Gunfire was heard in several parts of the capital Libreville and armored vehicles were seen moving around with helicopters overhead. Internet services were cut just after 8 a.m. and several neighborhoods in Libreville were reportedly without power.

About 300 people gathered outside the radio station in support of the coup attempt, according to Reuters, which said pro-government soldiers fired teargas to disperse the crowd. Other parts of the capital were mostly quiet as people stayed at home.

Several hours later, at 10 a.m., the government announced that the coup attempt had failed. A spokesman said four coup soldiers were taken into custody, but security forces were still looking for a fifth, believed to be Obiang.

The government announced just before 10 a.m. that the coup attempt had failed. A spokesman said four coup soldiers had been taken into custody, but security forces were still looking for a fifth, believed to be Obiang.

Moussa Faki, the chairman of the African Union Commission, said the union strongly condemns the attempted coup in Gabon. “I reaffirm the AU’s total rejection of all unconstitutional change of power,” he said.

Bongo has been in power since a disputed vote in 2009 to succeed his father, Omar Bongo, who ruled the oil-rich nation for 42 years. An election in 2016 was also disputed after results showed that Bongo had won by just 6,000 votes, with a claimed turnout of 99.9% in his home province, of which 95% went to Bongo.

Jean Ping, who faced Bongo in the 2016 election, continues to claim the presidency and held a rally for supporters on November 3. He also wished people a happy new year in a statement that referred to him as the “President of the Republic.”

Bongo suffered a stroke while visiting Saudi Arabia in October and he was later transferred to Morocco, where he is still receiving treatment. Bloomberg reported in November that Bongo’s absence was creating a power vacuum in the central African nation.

Soldiers in Gabon have attempted a coup, announcing the establishment of a “restoration council” after taking over the national radio station. There were reports of shots being fired in the capital, Libreville, on Monday.

********

PRETORIA, South Africa, January 7, 2019/APO Group/ —

 

South Africa has noted with grave concern the attempted coup d’état undertaken in the Republic of Gabon this morning (07 January 2019) by elements of the military.

South Africa condemns in the strongest possible terms the attempted coup to overthrow the democratically elected Government in the Republic of Gabon.  In this regard, South Africa reaffirms the African Union principle of the total rejection of all unconstitutional change of power.

South Africa has noted that the Army in Gabon has since arrested the perpetrators of the attempted coup, and calls upon the Army to help restore the democratically elected government as soon as possible.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

https://www.africa-newsroom.com/press/south-africa-condemns-attempted-military-coup-detat-in-gabon?lang=en

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