Gabon govt says 'situation under control,' rebels seized

A still image taken from a video posted on January 7, 2019, shows military officers giving a statement from a radio station in Libreville, Gabon.
A still image taken from a video posted on January 7, 2019, shows military officers giving a statement from a radio station in Libreville, Gabon.
Image: HANDOUT via Reuters TV

The government of Gabon declared that it was in control after an attempted coup by army rebels Monday and that it had arrested most of those involved.

"Calm has returned, the situation is under control," government spokesman Guy-Bertrand Mapangou told AFP.

Only hours earlier, soldiers burst into state radio and called on the people to "rise up," an apparent bid to oust ailing President Ali Bongo, who is out of the country. Of the five who did this, according to Mapangou, "four have been arrested and one is on the run."

African Union chief Moussa Faki Mahamat "strongly condemned" an attempted coup by rebel soldiers in the Gabonese capital on Monday.

"The African Union strongly condemns the coup attempt this morning in Gabon. I reaffirm the AU's total rejection of all unconstitutional change of power," he wrote on Twitter.

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