Gabon coup attempt: Government says situation under control

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The political situation in Gabon is “under control” following an attempted military coup, a spokesman for the government has said.

All five of the rebels who tried to take charge have now been arrested by the authorities.

The junior officers claimed they seized power “to restore democracy” in oil-rich Gabon, where the ailing leader’s family has ruled for 50 years.

Tanks and armoured vehicles could be seen in the capital Libreville.

One of the rebels was on the run for a brief period, before being found hiding under a bed, reports Radio France Internationale.

“The situation is calm. The gendarmes who are often stationed there have taken control of the entire area around the radio and TV headquarters, so everything is back to normal”, said Guy-Bertrand Mapangou. a government spokesman.

Mr Mapangou said that the army generals, civil society and opposition leaders mentioned in the rebels’ statement as potential supporters would be investigated.

Current leader Ali Bongo succeeded his father Omar Bongo as president in 2009. He narrowly won re-election in 2016 in a poll marred by violence and accusations of fraud.

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