Gabon: Top coup fugitive 'arrested'

APA-Libreville (Gabon)

The government in Gabon says the situation in the country has normalised and its loyal forces have since arrested the leader of Monday's abortive coup who was on the run.

Communication minister, Guy-Bertrand Mapangou has assured Gabonese that “the situation is under control" after rebel soldiers who took over the premises of the national radio to announce the establishment of a National Restoration Council were arrested by forces loyal to the government of Ali Bongo,

“It looks like a group of jokers because so far the military hierarchy has said it doesn’t know about this group and doesn’t know how they prepared,” Mapangou said.

He claimed loyalist forces who had launched a manhunt for alleged coup leader, Kelly Ondo Obiang have arrested him and he is now being detained.

Speaking to Radio France International, Mapangou said: “I can tell you and affirm that the situation is under the control of the Defence Forces, which took control of the radio and television house about half an hour ago”.

The minister, who doubles as government spokesman, said the mutineers belong to the Company of Honour, which is different from the Republican Guard.

The African Union has strongly condemned the abortive coup as the Gabonese government go into a crisis meeting following Monday morning’s events in Libreville, RFI reported.

Young army officers in the wee hours of Monday occupied the premises of the national radio and put out a statement announcing the setting up of a so-called National Restoration Council.

Since then troops have been patrolling the main streets of the Gabonese capital.

President Ali Bongo, whose family has ruled Gabon for 58 years, is still recuperating in Morocco after suffering a stroke in October last year.


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