The mid-African country, Libreville, the capital of Gabon, was demolished on the early morning of the 7th. A group of soldiers occupied the radio station and issued a notice to the public questioning the ability of President Ali Bongo to continue to perform his duties, encouraging young people in the army and civilians to join the uprising. Bongo was seriously hospitalized during his visit last October and is recuperating in the North African country of Morocco.
A few hours later, the Gabonese government announced that it has taken control of the situation.
Gabon National Radio broadcast a statement at around 6:30 on the 7th (Beijing time 13:30).
The person who read this statement claimed that Lieutenant Kelly Ondo Obiang was a Republican Guard officer and led the Gabonese National Defense and Security Force Youth Patriotic Movement. The statement said that President Bongo's speech on the eve of New Year's Day aggravated the suspicion of the president's ability to continue to perform his duties.
A video circulating on social media shows that Obiang wears a training uniform, wears a green beret, stands in a radio studio and declares that two soldiers with assault rifles are standing behind.
Reuters reported that a person close to the Gabonese government reported that the guns were heard near the national television station in the Capital Center before and after the announcement, but the perpetrators seemed to be only a handful of soldiers. Reuters quoted eyewitness reports that soldiers loyal to the government fired tear gas and dispelled about 300 support coups gathered outside the radio. The helicopter circled over the air and the atmosphere in most parts of the capital was calm.
A few hours later, Gabonese government spokesman Guy Bertrand Mapangu told AFP that the situation has been brought under control. Of the five soldiers who launched the mutiny, four were arrested and one was at large.
Bango, 59, was hospitalized in Saudi Arabia on October 24 last year and continued to receive treatment in Morocco since November. He is now recuperating in a private residence in the capital, Rabat.
On the evening of December 31 last year, he delivered a New Year message to the domestic people in Morocco, acknowledging that he was embarrassed but recovering. In the recorded video of the broadcast, Bongo's right arm seems to be inconvenient to move, some words are unclear, but the mental condition is good.
Gabon is located on the west coast of central Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean. It became a French colony in the 1880s and became independent in August 1960. Gabon is rich in natural resources, with oil, manganese, uranium and timber mining and exports as the main source of fiscal revenue. Gabon's forest coverage rate is over 80%, and there are many species of trees. The stock of logs is the third in Africa and has won the reputation of the country of green gold.
Bongo served as Secretary of Defense, and his father Omar Bongo served as President of Gabon in November 1967 until his death in 2009. In September of the same year, Bongo was elected as the new president in the capacity of a ruling party candidate and won re-election in 2016. The opposition questioned the fairness of the election at the time. The demonstrators and the police violently clashed in Libreville and set fire in the National Assembly building.
The Chairman of the African Union Commission, Musa Faki Mohamed, said on social media Twitter on the 7th: The African Union strongly condemns the attempted coup in Gabon this morning. I reiterate that the AU is firmly opposed to all regime changes that violate the Constitution. (Shen Min) (Xinhua News Agency special feature)