By Njodzeka Danhatu
Normalcy has returned to Gabon following what many portrayed as an attempted coup d’état that was launched today Monday January 7 by a group of soldiers claiming to belong to a group called Patriotic Movement of the Defence and Security Forces of Gabon .
The spokesman of the government of President Ali Bongo said, the political situation is ‘under control’. According to Guy-Bertrand Mapangou, five Republican guards whom he described as rebels have been arrested. “The situation is calm. The gendarmes who are stationed there all the time have taken control of the entire area around the radio and TV Headquarters, so everything is back to normal’ Mapangou told the BBC
The five soldiers considered to be republican guard headed by Lt Kelly Ondo Obiang, seize the national broadcasting house around 4:30 am appealing to the Gabonese youth to take charge of ‘their destiny’. They said they were creating a ‘national restoration council’ to restore the values of democracy that have been lost under President Ali Bongo.
These soldiers added that they were disappointed by President Bongo’s end of year message to the nation which to them, was a ‘pitiful sight’ and a ‘relentless attempt to cling on to power’.
How Lt Kelly Ondo Obiang Escaped The Radio Premises
Local media report says the personnel at the national radio attested having heard sounds of gunshot. Due to reinforcement to counter the rebels as described by Mr Mapangou, Spokesman of the government, Lt Obiang is reported to have seized the dresses of a journalist at the broadcast house, tore his military uniform, then disguised with a civilian attire and went pass the soldiers searching for him.
The government promised that some military officers mention in the announcement of coup leaders will be investigated.
Where is President Ali Bongo?
Ali Bongo is said to be in Rabat, Morocco seeking medical attention after he left the country in November last year. He first went to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia before he was later on ferried to Morocco where he is currently under treatment. He came to power in 2009 after the death of his father Omar Bongo. He was then re-elected in 2016, the election that was disputable as the opposition headed by Jean Ping also claimed victory till today.