LIBREVILLE GABON. The political situation in the Republic of Gabon, West Africa, is now “under control” following an attempted military coup earlier on Monday, a spokesman for the government has said.
The chief military rebel who led a failed coup in Gabon has been arrested and two of his commands killed after they stormed a public radio station, the country’s government says.
Security forces later entered the radio station in the capital Libreville to take it back, killing two rebel troops, arresting their leader and freeing journalists who had been forced to help rebels make their appeal.
All five of the rebels who tried to take charge have now been arrested by the authorities. The junior officers claimed they seized power “to restore democracy” in oil-rich Gabon, where the ailing leader’s family has ruled for 50 years.
Tanks and armoured vehicles could be seen in the capital Libreville. One of the rebels was on the run for a brief period, before being found hiding under a bed.
“The situation is calm. The gendarmes who are often stationed there have taken control of the entire area around the radio and TV headquarters, so everything is back to normal”, said Guy-Bertrand Mapangou a government spokesman.
Mr Mapangou said that the army generals, civil society and some opposition leaders mentioned in the rebels’ statement as potential supporters would be investigated.
Current leader Ali Bongo succeeded his father Omar Bongo as president in 2009. He narrowly won re-election in 2016 in a poll marred by violence and accusations of fraud.
What happened this morning?
The five soldiers took control of the national radio station at 04:30 local time (03:30 GMT) to read a short statement announcing a “National Restoration Council”.
In a video circulating on social media, three young soldiers can be seen in a radio studio wearing military fatigues and holding guns.
Lt Kelly Ondo Obiang, who said he represented a group called the Patriotic Movement of the Defence and Security Forces of Gabon, specifically appealed to young people to “take charge of their destiny”.
The insurgents called on soldiers to take control of the transport system, ammunition reserves and airports “in the interests of the nation”.
more details soon…….