Gabon coup: Government says ‘situation under control’

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A spokesperson for the government of Gabon has said the political situation in the country is “under control”, following an attempted military coup.

Guy-Bertrand Mapangou told the BBC that four of the rebels had been arrested by the authorities. A fifth is on the run. Junior officers claimed they seized power “to restore democracy” in oil-rich Gabon, where the ailing leader’s family has ruled for 50 years. Tanks and armed vehicles could be seen in the capital Libreville.

Current leader Ali Bongo succeeded his father Omar Bongo as president in 2009. He narrowly won re-election in 2016 in a poll marred by violence and accusations of fraud.