Philadelphia, PA USA- January 7, 2019: The situation in the African nation of Gabon is relatively quiet after loyal forces put down an attempted coup by some military officer early Monday.
President Ali Bongo Ondimba who reportedly suffered a stroke recently is still out of the oil rich sub-Saharan country undergoing medical treatment.
Coup plotters who were dressed in military camouflage and seen armed on television were led by a Republican Guard commander Lt Obiang Ondo Kelly. They stormed the offices of the state broadcaster and announced that they had seized control of the government to “restore democracy.”
But according to international wire services, shortly thereafter, loyal forces regained control of state radio and television and strategic areas in the capital Libreville.
The coup makers reportedly fled and a government spokesperson Guy Betrand Mapangou told Radio France International that two of the coup plotters had been killed and others including their leader had been arrested.
Gabon which had been ruled by the Bongo-Ondimba family for the last 50 years was seen as a relatively stable African country. Some had accused the ruling family of massively profiting from the country’s oil wealth at the expense of poor Gabonese.
The attempted coup has been condemned by France, the African Union and others as “unconstitutional”.
Gabonese security forces are patrolling the capital and say they have quashed the attempted military take-over.
By West African Journal Magazine and Wire Services