SA joins condemnation of attempted military coup in Gabon

Two of the five coup leaders have been killed as the army restores control, closing down the internet and broadcasting services in the oil-rich, small West African state.

A screengrab of Gabon soldiers on state radio on 7 January 2019 calling on the people to "rise up" and announced a "national restoration council" would be formed, as an ailing President Ali Bongo is out of the country. Picture: AFP

PRETORIA – South Africa’s joined the condemnation of Monday’s military coup attempt in Gabon.

Two of the five coup leaders have been killed as the army restores control, closing down the internet and broadcasting services in the oil-rich, small West African state.

The South African statement recalls the African Union’s rejection of any unconstitutional change of government and calls on the Gabonese army to restore the democratically elected government in Gabon.

That is headed by President Ali Bongo who is recovering in Morocco from a stroke suffered in Saudi Arabia two months ago.

Bongo took the reins when his father died in 2002, after having seized power in 1967.

Ali Bongo won an election in 2016 by fewer than 6,000 votes and at least seven people died in demonstrations calling for an end to the 50-year Bongo dynasty in Gabon.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)