Gabon’s military, in a broadcast on national radio Monday morning, declared their intention to form a “National Restoration Council” in light of their disappointment with President Ali Bongo Ondimba, in what appears to be an attempted coup d’etat.

Soldiers stormed the national radio headquarters in Libreville, Gabon’s capital, stating they were disappointed with Bongo’s message for the New Year.


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Shots were heard in the around state television offices in the centre of the capital around the same time at 6:30 am (0530 GMT), and military vehicles blocked access to the site, an AFP correspondent said.

One soldier, who identified himself as Lieutenant Kelly Ondo Obiang, according to BNO news site, urged fellow military personnel and citizens to arm themselves and occupy military bases, airports, and border crossings.

Local news described the event as an “attempted coup d’etat” and said the Gabon Republican Guard was seizing power.


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The attempted coup is ongoing, and it is not yet clear if the group of soldiers seen in the broadcast (spread throughout social media), is backed by a larger force.

Bongo assumed office in October of 2009 and has served as Gabon’s third president. His family has ruled the oil-rich country for over half a century.

The ailing leader is currently in Morocco recovering from a stroke suffered in October, apparently leaving space for the military to take power.



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This is a developing story.

AFP contributed to this report.

 


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