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Breaking: Coup d’état in Gabon, Army takes over govt.

Gunshots being fired in the capital Libreville

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By Lawrence Audu
Gabon’s army has reportedly attempted a coup with soldiers announcing the establishment of a “restoration council” after taking over the national radio station.

Reading out a statement on Monday, the military officers condemned President Ali Bongo who addressed his compatriots last Monday from Morocco for the first time since suffering a stroke in October.

A New Year’s address by Bongo “reinforced doubts about the president’s ability to continue to carry out of the responsibilities of his office”, said Lieutenant Kelly Ondo Obiang, leader of the self-declared Patriotic Movement of the Defence and Security Forces of Gabon.

There were reports of shots being fired in Gabon’s capital Libreville.

Timeline of Bongo’s hospitalization

  • October 25 – Bongo admitted to the King Fahd hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – source at presidency tells Jeune Afrique.
  • October 29 – Government confirms hospitalization, warns against spread of fake news
  • October 31 – Cameroon channel banned for six-months for reporting Bongo’s death
  • November 11 – Bongo recovering his faculties, remains in charge – Presidency
  • November 14 – Opposition demands clarity on Bongo’s health
  • November 15 – Constitutional Court orders veep to chair cabinet meeting in Bongo’s absence
  • November 21 – Jeune Afrique reports Bongo to convalesce in London
  • November 24 – Venue of convalescence changes from London to Rabat
  • November 29 – Bongo is flown to Morocco for medical recovery
  • December 4 – First photos of Bongo pops up as Moroccan King visits him
  • December 6 – Top government officials visit him in Rabat
  • December 10 – Vice-president confirms that he suffered a stroke
  • January 1, 2019 – Delivers New Year address from Rabat

Then minister Bongo took over the reins in the oil-rich central African nation in 2009 following the death of his father Omar Bongo who had been president for over four decades.

Ali won hotly contested polls in 2016 to secure his second term in charge. The main opponent and former colleague minister, Jean Ping, unsuccessfully contested the results. Ping, a former African Union chief, insists he was the constitutionally elected president.

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