Gabon's Military Seizes Control
Reports are coming from West Africa that Junior Officers in Gabon are claiming to have seized power.
Soldiers have announced they are launching a coup to ‘restore democracy.’ In scenes not dissimilar to Zimbabwe last year, the army took control of the national radio at 04.30 local time.
Tanks and armed vehicles are on the streets of Libreville. Gabon’s President Ali Bongo has been absent since he reportedly suffered a stroke in October of last year.
In an attempt to put rumours surrounding his health to bed he issued a statement on New Year’s claiming he was well and felt fine. The message seems not to have had the desired effect with soldiers claiming the message was a ‘pitiful sight’
"It reinforced doubts about his ability to assume the responsibilities of his role as President of the Republic", said Lt Kelly Ondo Obiang, the leader of the so-called Patriotic Movement of the Defence and Security Forces of Gabon.
The insurgents called on soldiers to take control of the transport system, ammunition reserves and airports "in the interests of the nation".
There is no word so far from the government.
President Trump has deployed soldiers to Gabon to protect US citizens amid fears of violent protests in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo following its presidential election.