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Soldiers seize power

Publish date: 07 January 2019
Issue Number: 805
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Gabon

Soldiers from Gabon's Republican Guard today (Monday) appeared on state television saying they have launched a coup ‘to restore democracy’ in the West African country. A soldier who identified himself as Lieutenant Kelly Ondo Obiang, commander of the Republican Guard, read out a statement saying the military has seized control of the government. NBC News reports that a curfew has been imposed over the capital, Libreville, and the Internet has been cut. The city is being patrolled by military tanks and armed vehicles. As previously reported in Legalbrief Today, President Ali Bongo has been out of the country since October after suffering a stroke. He recently addressed the country in a New Year's message from Morocco. Bongo has been in power since 2009. 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 the violence that erupted after Bongo was declared the election's winner.

Full report on the NBC News site