Troopers in Gabon burst into state radio places of work early on Monday and known as on the individuals to “stand up”, in an obvious coup try as ailing President Ali Bongo is in a foreign country.
Pictures have been heard the round state tv headquarters in Libreville, capital of the oil-rich West African nation, at about the identical time because the message was learn at 6.30am.
Army autos blocked entry to the boulevard the place the places of work are situated, an AFP correspondent mentioned.
The dramatic developments got here as Bongo is recovering at a non-public residence within the Moroccan capital Rabat after struggling a stroke.
A message was learn on state radio by an individual who recognized himself as Lieutenant Ondo Obiang Kelly, the deputy commander of the Republican Guard and head of a beforehand unknown group, the Patriotic Youth Motion of the Gabonese Defence and Safety Forces (MPJFDS).
He introduced a “nationwide restoration council” could be fashioned.
The motion “calls on all younger individuals from forces for the defence and safety and Gabonese younger individuals to affix us”, the officer mentioned.
Three troopers sporting the inexperienced beret of the Republican Guard have been seen on a video of the speech circulating on social media and authenticated by AFP.
“We can not abandon our homeland,” the officer mentioned.
“The eagerly awaited day has arrived when the military has determined to place itself on the aspect of the individuals with a view to save Gabon from chaos.
“In case you are consuming, cease; in case you are having a drink, cease; in case you are sleeping, get up. Get up your neighbors… stand up as one and take management of the road,” he mentioned.
‘A troublesome interval’
The officer known as on the individuals of Gabon to occupy public buildings and airports all through the nation.
The 59-year-old Bongo has not been again to Gabon since he fell unwell in Saudi Arabia on Oct 24. It was revealed final month that he had suffered a stroke.
In his absence, the Constitutional Courtroom transferred a part of the powers of the president to the prime minister and the vice chairman.
On Dec 31, Bongo addressed the nation for the primary time since falling unwell, saying in a recorded speech from Morocco that he had “been by way of a troublesome interval”.
The MPJFDS considers the speech “shameful” for a “nation (which) has misplaced its dignity”, the officer mentioned within the speech on state delivered on Monday.
The Bongo household has ruled the equatorial African nation for 5 many years.
Ali Bongo was elected head of state after his father’s dying in 2009.
He was narrowly re-elected in 2016 following a presidential ballot marred by lethal violence and allegations of fraud.