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Soldiers on alert after attempted coup in Gabon

A group of five soldiers sought to take power while Ali Bongo, the country’s ailing president, convalesces abroad following a stroke while he was in Saudi Arabia in October.

Gabonese soldiers stand in front of the headquarters of the national broadcaster Radiodiffusion Television Gabonaise (RTG) in Libreville on 7 January 2019 after a group of soldiers sought to take power in Gabon while the country's ailing president was abroad. Picture: AFP

ABIDJAN - Soldiers are making their presence felt in Gabon’s capital Libreville following an attempted coup.

A group of five soldiers sought to take power while Ali Bongo, the country’s ailing president, recovers abroad following a stroke while he was in Saudi Arabia in October.

While government spokesperson guy-Bertrand Mapangou insists calm has returned and the situation is under control, Georges Mbaga from civil society network known by its French acronym ROLGB says internet radio and television services have yet to be restored.

The internet was shut down when soldiers burst into the national radio station’s offices at dawn and called on the public to rise up.

AFP has reported that the chief military rebel who led the failed coup in Gabon has been arrested and two of his commandos killed.

The Bongo family has ruled the oil-rich nation for nearly half a century.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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