In this image from TV, a soldier who identified himself as Lt. Obiang Ondo Kelly, commander of the Republican Guard, reads a statement on state television broadcast from Libreville, Gabon, saying the military has seized control of the government, Monday Jan. 7, 2019. (Photo: AP)
Johannesburg (People’s Daily) -After an attempted coup by army rebels Monday morning, the government of Gabon declared that the situation was in control and most of the soldiers involved were arrested. The chief military rebel who led a failed coup in Gabon has been arrested and two of his commandos killed after they stormed a public radio station, the presidency said.
Spokesperson for the government of Gabon Guy-Bertrand Mapangou announced the political situation in the country is under control.
Early Monday an army soldier, flanked by two others holding guns, read out a statement saying the military has seized control of the government "to restore democracy" to the country. Mapangou said that some officers behind the apparent coup attempt have been arrested.
The Chinese embassy told the People’s Daily that they heard the heavy gunfire this morning but now the gunshots have stopped. No Chinese casualties were initially reported. The embassy urged Chinese personnel in Gabon to avoid going out. There are about 3,000 Chinese in Gabon.
President Ali Bongo has been out of the country since October. He recently addressed the country in a New Year's message from a hospital bed in Morocco.
The African Union strongly condemned the coup attempt this morning in Gabon.
On Friday, US President Donald Trump sent 80 troops to Gabon to defend US interests and “further foreign policy” in the nearby Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is waiting for the result of its recent presidential election.