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07 jan. 2019 | 08h51 UTC

Gabon: Tense situation in Libreville following coup attempt January 7 /update 1

Gabon Alerte de sécurité

Situation tense in Libreville following coup attempt January 7; further details emerging

TIMEFRAME expected from 6/1/2019, 12h00 until 8/1/2019, 11h59 (Africa/Libreville). COUNTRY/REGION Gabon, Libreville

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Event

An increased security presence loyal to President Ali Bongo is reportedly deployed throughout the capital Libreville as of 08:00 (local time) on Monday, January 7, following an attempted coup d'etat by soldiers who seized control of the national radio station (Radio Télévisée Gabonaise - RTG) in Libreville earlier in the day and announced the establishment of a National Council for Restoration. According to local sources, the assault has been launched at the RTG, with the putschists reportedly arrested. An increased security presence is reported in all strategic areas of the capital, notably on the Boulevard Triomphal, where the RTG and the National Assembly are located. The radio signal resumed after a brief cut; however, accesses to the internet and social media networks have been cut off until further notice. Power cuts are also reported in some neighborhoods of the capital. The French school, Lycée Blaise Pascal, has been closed until further notice. Further details are still emerging as the situation is ongoing. Western authorities have advised their nationals to shelter in place until the situation stabilizes. 

Context

Military forces began an attempted coup d'etat in Gabon around 04:00 (local time) on January 7. The statement ordered politicians and military leaders to assemble at the National Assembly and called on military forces and citizens to take control of airports, checkpoints, military establishments, and transportation centers. Gunshots were reported in Libreville.

President Ali Bongo reportedly in Morocco seeking medical treatment. Political tensions remain high in Gabon following the 2016 presidential elections, perceived by many as fraudulent.

Advice

Individuals in Gabon are advised to monitor the situation, refrain from all travel until further notice, obey instructions issued by their home governments, and maintain vigilance.

 

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