Everything you need to know about the failed military coup in Gabon

Gabonese government successfully aborted a coup against Ali Bongo's presidency on January 7.

President Ali Bongo is paraded before the military in Gabon in 2017.
  • Gabon coup was not successfully because it was planned by junior officers.
  • Lt Kelly Ondo Obiang, leader of the rebel, expressed disappointment with President Ali Bongo's inability to rule and carry out responsibilities of the office.
  • President Ali Bongo is receiving treatment in Morocco and has been away since October 2018.

On Monday, January 7, 2018, news filtered around Africa over military coup in Gabon as soldiers hijacked state's owned radio station announcing seizure of power from President Ali Bongo Ondimba.

The leader of the rebel, Patriotic Movement of the Defence and Security Forces of Gabon, Lt Kelly Ondo Obiang, expressed disappointment with President Ali Bongo's inability to rule and carry out responsibilities of the office.

He appealed to young people to "take charge of their destiny" while the junior military officers promised to 'restored democracy'.

The planned coup was successfully aborted by the Gabonese government right at the spot of the radio station.

Guy-Bertrand Mapangou, the country's communication minister, had said four out of five were apprehended immediately. Two gunned down while one of them escaped arrest.

Mapangou described the coup-plotters as jokers and little soldiers in the military hierarchy.

Why coup may not succeed in Ali Bongo's presidency?

President Ali Bongo of Gabon has been away since October 2018. He was first admitted for an undisclosed ailment in Saudi Arabia and later transferred to Morocco for further on treatments.

The Vice President Pierre Claver Maganga Moussavou, in December, announced that the president was suffering from a stroke.

In a new year message, he appeared on video for the first time putting an end to speculations of death rumour.

Gabon, an oil-rich West African nation has been ruled by the Bongo's family for 50 years. Ali Bongo's father ruled the nation for 41 years before his death in 2009. Thereafter, the son, who was then, Minister of Foreign Affairs, took over.

He was re-elected in 2016 despite election irregularities.

Arising from the coup attempt, analysts believed that no successful coup will take place during Ali Bongo's presidency due to his enormous wealth and his closeness with military hierarchy became many of them are from the Bongo's family town.

International communities, most especially African government shun military takeover

International community on Monday swiftly condemned the plot while African Union affirmed the organisation's total rejection of all unconstitutional change of power.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, in a Twitter post described as unwelcoming in Africa. President Muhammadu Buhari and other African leaders also denounced the coup attempt by the Gabonese soldiers.


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