Gabon army announces coup ‘to restore democracy’


Soldiers from Gabon have appeared on state television announcing that they have launched a coup “to restore democracy” in the West African country.

Early Monday a soldier who identified himself as Lt. Obiang Ondo Kelly, commander of the Republican Guard, read out a statement saying the military has taken control of the government. He was flanked by two others holding weapons and all were dressed in camouflage uniforms and green berets.

A curfew has been imposed over the capital, Libreville, and the internet has since been cut. The city is being patrolled by military tanks and armed vehicles. No violence has been reported so far.

President Ali Bongo has been in power since 2009, however, he had been out of the country since October amid reports that he had a stroke. He recently addressed the country in a New Year’s message that was filmed in Morocco, where he has been receiving medical treatment.

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