Gabon arrests soldiers following attempted coup

Ailing Gabonese president Ali Bongo, On Monday the millitary in his country announced the taking over of power amidst concerns over his health PHOTO COURTESY

Four soldiers suspected to have been involved in the attempted military coup in Gabon have been arrested Reuters has reported.

The media agency has reported that the government spokesman Guy-Bertrand Mapangou said that the four were arrested outside the radio station where they made the announcement while a fifth one who made the announcement had escaped.

Unconfirmed reports stated that following the Monday morning incident, the internet had been shut down in the country.

The military the oil-rich nation had on Monday announced the seizing of power claiming the move was in order to restore democracy.

According to the BBC, the soldiers raided the national radio station at 5.00 am GMT time in the capital Libreville announcing the formation of a ‘National Restoration Council’.

In a video posted online, by a diaspora account of the opposition allied Conseil Gabonais de la Résistance, a soldier who is flanked by his two gun brandishing colleagues is seen reading the announcement.

According to Reuters, gunshots were reported near the radio station with military vehicles being spotted, however, the news agency reported that the faction which had made the announcement was a small group of soldiers.

The government of the ailing president Ali Bongo whose family has ruled the oil-rich nation for 50 years has not commented on the latest development.

President Ali Bongo 59 was hospitalized in October last year after reportedly suffering a stroke while in Saudi Arabia.

Bongo has been receiving treatment in Morocco

However, in a televised new year’s message, the president who seemed not in his right health said he was recovering just fine.

Ali took power following the death of his father Omar Bongo in 2009, however, an election which he won in 2016 was marred by chaos and violence with supporters of his fiercest competitor Jean Ping accusing the ruling party of rigging.