Gabon says it has put down an obvious coup try after armed troopers seized a state radio station early Monday morning and broadcast an announcement declaring the nation was beneath their management and new chief could be chosen.
However inside hours, authorities spokesman Man-Bertrand Mapangou introduced the coup had failed, saying, “The scenario is beneath management.”
In an interview with French broadcaster RFI, Mapangou mentioned a number of leaders of the tried coup had been arrested.
The declaration of a coup was broadcast from Libreville, capital of the West African nation, in a radio deal with that was additionally shared in an internet video. It featured a soldier who recognized himself as Lt. Kelly Ondo Obiang, a commander within the Republican Guard and chief of the Patriotic Motion of the Protection and Safety Forces of Gabon.
The incident set off confusion in and outdoors of Gabon, coming as ailing President Ali Bongo Ondimba — whose household has run the oil-rich nation for the reason that 1960s — continues a prolonged restoration in Morocco.
Within the video, “the soldier says a brand new yr’s message from President Ali Bongo Ondimba, which was meant to finish the controversy about his well being after a suspected stroke, has reasonably bolstered doubts in regards to the president’s capacity to proceed operating the nation,” NPR’s Ofeibea Quist-Arcton stories. “Ondo Obiang additionally made what seems to be a reference to lethal violence after Bongo’s disputed election win in 2016, saying this obvious energy seize is in protest at those that assassinated our younger compatriots in a cowardly trend in August 2016.”
As he spoke, Ondo Obiang was bracketed by two fellow troopers who held assault rifles and gave emphatic nods of settlement throughout his almost six-minute deal with.
Calling on Gabon’s residents to help the coup, Ondo Obiang mentioned, “If you’re consuming, cease; in case you are having a drink, cease; in case you are sleeping, get up. Get up your neighbors, in all of the provinces, all of the cities, all of the villages — stand up as one and take management of the road.”
The soldier mentioned a “restoration council” would work to deliver democracy again to Gabon.
However the authorities shortly overcame the coup try; France 24 cites Mapangou as saying that 4 of 5 mutineers have been arrested, and that the fifth individual is on the run.
Gabon has been in a deepening political disaster since late October, when stories emerged that Bongo, 59, was being handled for an sickness in Saudi Arabia. After spending weeks in that nation, he moved to Morocco, in a course of that is been veiled in secrecy.
Throughout Bongo’s prolonged absence, new powers had been granted to Gabon’s vp, Pierre-Claver Maganga Moussavou. However these actions drew criticism from those that famous the nation’s structure requires new elections inside 45 days of emptiness as a result of a president’s resignation or well being.
As Monday’s coup try performed out, African Union Fee Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat issued an announcement saying the African Union “strongly condemns the coup try this morning in Gabon. I reaffirm the AU’s whole rejection of all unconstitutional change of energy.”