The Gabonese government has put down a coup attempt after a group of soldiers briefly seized radio and released a statement calling on people to rise up while the incumbent president, Ali Bongo, is in Morocco for treatment.
Quoting the government spokesman Guy-Bertrand Mapangou, the UK’s The Guardian writes “authorities have regained control of the state broadcasting offices and a major thoroughfare in the capital, Libreville, which were the only areas taken by the plotters.”.
It is reported that Obiang was flanked by two armed men, all in the uniform and green berets of the powerful Republican Guard, which is usually tasked with protecting the president.
“The eagerly awaited day has arrived when the army has decided to put itself on the side of the people in order to save Gabon from chaos,” he said.
“If you are eating, stop; if you are having a drink, stop; if you are sleeping, wake up. Wake up your neighbours … rise up as one and take control of the street,” he added, calling on Gabonese to occupy the country’s airports, public buildings and media organisations.