Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Monday, January 21, 2019 04:24:33 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Gabon soldiers seize national radio station in coup attempt

photo by AP photo

In this photo grab, Gabon soldiers call on the people to \'rise up\' against President Ali Bongo

By BBC Online
08th-Jan-2019       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »


Soldiers in Gabon have attempted a coup, announcing the establishment of a "restoration council" after taking over the national radio station.
But the communications minister later on Monday announced most of the renegade military officers had been arrested and the situation was under control. There were still reports of shots being fired in the capital, Libreville. Reading out a statement, the officers condemned President Ali Bongo who addressed his compatriots last week from Morocco for the first time since reportedly suffering a stroke in October.
A New Year's address by Bongo "reinforced doubts about the president's ability to continue to carry out of the responsibilities of his office", said Lieutenant Kelly Ondo Obiang, leader of the self-declared Patriotic Movement of the Defence and Security Forces of Gabon.
"Once again, one time too many, the wielders of power deceptively continue to instrumentalise the person of Ali Bongo Ondimba, a patient devoid of many of his physical and mental faculties," said Ondo Obiang.
Gunfire was heard around state television offices in the centre of the capital at about 6:30am (05:30 GMT), and military vehicles blocked access to the site.
Most of Libreville remained calm later in the day but there was a strong police and military presence on the streets and helicopters circled overhead.
A crowd of about 300 people had gathered at the radio station in support of the attempted coup, but soldiers fired tear gas to disperse them. Bongo, 59, is said to have suffered a stroke on October 24 while visiting Saudi Arabia and has since been treated in Morocco. His family has ruled the oil-rich Central African nation for nearly half a century.
The president posted a video message recorded in Rabat and distributed via social and traditional media last Monday in which he admitted he had been "through a difficult period".
But he added: "Today, as you can see, I am preparing to meet you again soon."
Presidential spokesperson Ike Ngouoni later told AFP: "This speech is proof that President Ali Bongo is fully recovered. His health problems are now behind him." In a video circulating on social media, Ondo Obiang is seen in a radio studio wearing military fatigues and a green beret as he reads the statement. Two other soldiers with assault rifles stand behind him.
Ondo Obiang said the coup was being carried out against "those who, in a cowardly way, assassinated our young compatriots on the night of August 31, 2016" - a reference to deadly violence that erupted after Bongo was declared the winner of a disputed election.
A source close to the government told Reuters news agency the plotters appeared to be a small group of soldiers. The situation remained unclear Monday afternoon. Government spokesman Guy-Bertrand Mapangou said four of the five officers who attempted a coup had been arrested.
"Calm has returned, the situation is under control," he said.
Gabon, a small country with a population of about two million people, is estimated to be the fourth-richest nation in Africa.
Aly-Khan Satchu, an economist and Africa analyst, said Gabon is an "extremely unequal society" and it was likely the population and other military factions would support the move, noting the government hasn't "taken care of its citizens".
"The captain has been out of the country for a few months, this is a decapitation strike which I think will be difficult for the family to repel," Satchu told Al Jazeera. "It will be very difficult for the president to regain control while he's sitting in Morocco."
He said it remains to be seen what happens next, but noted about 900 French troops are in the country, a legacy of the colonial period.
"Will the French salvage the regime? I suspect not," he said, adding, "I don't think these guys are working on their own. It's not visible yet."
Satchu said the coup attempt reflects a broader trend of discontent in Africa over long-serving leaders who have failed to heed the needs of their people.
"What we're watching across this continent - whether it's Gabon, Sudan, or DR Congo - is a kind of tipping point moment," he said.
The US military has deployed soldiers and equipment to Gabon amid fears of violent protests in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) after its contested presidential election.
President Donald Trump told US Congress on Friday the first of about 80 troops arrived in Gabon last Wednesday to protect American citizens and diplomatic facilities if violence breaks out in the DRC capital, Kinshasa.
Bongo won re-election in 2016 by fewer than 6,000 votes, sparking deadly clashes between protesters and police during which the parliament was torched.
The European Union said it found anomalies during the election in Bongo's stronghold province of Haut-Ogooue, where he won 95 percent on a 99.9 percent turnout.
His father, Omar Bongo, ruled Gabon for 42 years before his death in 2009 when Ali Bongo first took power.

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Entertainment »

Munmun, Achol`s movie Ragi


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Last week shooting of Mizanur Rahman Mizan directed movie Ragi again started at BFDC in the capital’s Karwanbazar area. In the middle days, its shooting was stopped. This time Achol has been attached with the movie. After Achol’s engagement in Ragi, its shooting got momentum. In the ...

Sports »

Ko, Ji charge to LPGA lead with Henderson one back


New Zealand's Lydia Ko and South Korea's Ji Eun-hee each fired a five-under par 66 to share the lead after Saturday's third round of the LPGA Tournament of Champions.Ko and Ji charged into contention by going low on the front side and parring their way home to stand on 13-under ...

Football »

Salah fires Liverpool seven points clear, Arsenal rock Chelsea


Liverpool moved seven points clear at the top of the Premier League as Mohamed Salah's double inspired a dramatic 4-3 victory over Crystal Palace, while Arsenal ignited their top-four bid by beating Chelsea on Saturday.With second-placed Manchester City travelling to bottom-of-the-table Huddersfield on Sunday, Liverpool seized the chance to tighten ...

City »

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina being greeted by Home Minister, secretary and IGP during her visit to the Home Ministry yesterday.


International »

Trump offers 3-year protection for immigrants in exchange for border wall


The Washington Post :President Donald Trump on Saturday offered Democrats three years of deportation protections for some immigrants in exchange for $5.7 billion in border wall funding, a proposal immediately rejected by Democrats and derided by conservatives as amnesty.Aiming to end the 29-day partial government shutdown, Trump outlined his plan ...

Cricket »

Rangpur Riders beat Sylhet Sixers


Sports Reporter :Rangpur Riders beat Sylhet Sixers by four wickets in their match of the UCB 6th Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 cricket at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on Saturday.Chasing Sylhet's fighting total of 194 for the loss of four wickets in 20 overs, Rangpur Riders reached the winning target ...

Sports »

Virat Kohli attends Australian Open, posts picture with Roger Federer


The Indian team completed its most successful campaign Down Under as they won the Test and ODI series comfortably. After close to two months of energy-sapping cricket, skipper Virat Kohli along with wife Anushka Sharma looked in a relaxed mood and attended day six of the Australian Open in Melbourne ...

Entertainment »

Alia , Madhuri Nene on the set of Kalank


Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Madhuri Dixit Nene, Aditya Roy Kapur, Sanjay Dutt and Sonakshi Sinha star together in Kalank. Dharma Productions' next, Kalank, is being directed by Abhishek Varman. The film's shooting is currently on and Varun Dhawan wrapped up shooting for his part of the film just yesterday. However, ...

International »

Afghan Taliban reject talks with US in Pakistan


Reuters, Peshawar :The Afghan Taliban rejected reports in the Pakistani media that they were prepared to resume meetings with U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in Islamabad and repeated their refusal to deal directly with the Afghan government.Pakistani newspapers and television stations reported that a meeting in Islamabad was in prospect ...

Editorial »

Bravery and courage of a Bangladeshi expatriate


FOR bravery and courage, a Bangladeshi expatriate has been honoured as he saved the life of a three-year-old boy in UAE. Bangladeshi expatriate Farouk, who works as a welder in Ajman of UAE, rescued the child thrown from the balcony of a burning apartment by his mother.Bangladeshi community in the ...

City »

Law enforcers stand guard for security measures on the occasion of victory rally of Bangladesh Awami League in the city's Suhrawardy Udyan. The snap was taken from TSC area of Dhaka University on Saturday.


City »

Information Minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud speaking at the extended meeting of Awami League at the party office in the city's Bangabandhu Avenue on Friday.


.

International »

Modi's pre-election handouts to cost India billions, breach fiscal targets


Reuters, New Delhi :A series of vote-catching measures planned by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he braces for a difficult general election may cost more than 1 trillion rupees ($14 billion), two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.Much of the cost of the extra spending or revenue ...

Cricket »

Dhoni, Jadhav power India to ODI series victory


Agency :MS Dhoni and Kedhar Jadhav scored half-centuries as India won the third and final ODI against Australia by seven wickets at Melbourne on Friday to seal the series 2-1.Chasing 231 to win, Dhoni (87*) and Jadhav (61*) put together a 121-run partnership to take India home after the bowlers, ...

Entertainment »

Achol returns acting slowly


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Popular film actress of present time Achol has returned to acting but with the appearance of anger. Her elder sister Moonmoon is attached with the underworld. When she knows the matter she becomes anger. Achol will be seen by this way in Mizanur Rahman Mizan’s movie Ragi. ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news