Ali Bongo, Gabonese President

Gabon: Government says coup attempt failed

NEWS DIGEST – The government in Gabon has said four of the soldiers who attempted to seize power in a coup on Monday, had been arrested.

It assured that normalcy would be restored in the Central African nation.

The military claimed to have seized power from the President Ali Bongo-led government in the country earlier in the day.

However, the government has denied the claim.

A fifth suspect was on the run, Reuters reported, after soldiers announced plans for a “national council of restoration,” in a country where the ruling Bongo family has been dogged by accusations of corruption and fraud during nearly a half-century in power.

Government soldiers swarmed the streets of the capital, Libreville, guarding the national radio and TV stations, but things appeared to be returning to normal. “The government is in place,” a government spokesman, Guy-Bertrand Mapangou, told France 24. “The institutions are in place.”

Ali Bongo Ondimba, the president, has been out of Gabon since October while receiving medical treatment for what many believe was a stroke he suffered while attending a conference in Saudi Arabia.

He had sought to reassure the nation he was fit during a New Year’s Eve speech televised from Morocco, where he is recuperating.