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  1. France 'condemns Gabon coup attempt'

    France has condemned the attempt by soldiers to overthrow the government in its former colony Gabon and advised its citizens to avoid the capital, Reuters news agency reports.

    "We condemn any attempt to change government outside constitutional rules," French foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll said in a statement seen by Reuters news agency.

    "Gabon's stability can only be ensured in strict compliance with the provisions of its constitution."

    Journalists have pointed to the close and personal links between Gabon's elite families as evidence of powerful networks of patronage. African news site Jeune Afrique has branded them "fiefdoms" (in French).

    Under former President Omar Bongo - the father of the current president - Gabon was seen by critics as a key part of the shadowy "Françafrique" network.

    The term refers to allegations that France has covertly intervened to support African dictatorships and overthrow unfriendly governments if it served French interests.

  2. Why did the coup fail?


    Firmain Eric Mbadinga

    BBC Afrique

    It appears that the coup attempt failed because the people behind it were small group of relatively unknown junior officers who did not seem to be very well prepared.

    They asked the population to rise up and support them but this didn't happen, making it easy for the authorities to resume control.

    However the attempt will shake the Bongo system which has been in control of Gabon for more than 50 years, but which was already under some pressure because of the president’s ill health.

    It will also reignite the question of leadership in Gabon.

    It is almost certain there will be a witch hunt against anyone suspected of having links to the putschists.

  3. How did he get away?

    Commentators are speculating about how Lt Kelly Ondo Obiang got away after taking over the airwaves at the state radio station and urging military and civilians to rise up against the government.

    While the government say four other soldiers have been arrested, he is on the run.

    Radio France Internationale suggests that he "he must have" swapped clothes with a technician working at the radio station to disguise himself as a civilian.

    People walk past the premises of the National Radio and Television centre in Libreville, on June 16, 2017.
    Image caption: Soldiers burst into Gabon's state radio offices at dawn and called on the public to "rise up"
  4. 'Calm in Libreville'

    The situation is very calm in Gabon's capital, Libreville, reports the correspondent for Radio France Internationale who is at the spot of the attempted coup.

    They add that 300 metres from the state radio building - which was taken over by five soldiers - there is a checkpoint of the Republican Guard which is securing the whole area.

    A helicopter continues to fly over the area, they report.

  5. Gabon government opens coup investigation

    The Gabonese government has opened an investigation into the attempted coup this morning, a spokesman told the BBC.

    Guy-Bertrand Mapangou said the investigation aimed "to shed light on the matter because they mentioned some politicians in their statement".

    He was referring to a statement that young soldiers broadcast on state radio this morning, urging other soldiers and civilians to rise up against the state.

    But Mr Mapangou dismissed the idea that a movement is behind the coup attempt.

    "They say they were part of a movement but there was no movement," Mr Mapangou said.

    He added that the lieutenant who urged the nation to rise up on the radio is currently on the run and "has no support from anyone in the security forces, even his own company".

  6. Gabon government calls coup plotters 'jokers'

    A spokesman for the Gabonese government has told the BBC that "the situation is calm" following an attempted coup in the early hours of Monday which saw soldiers take over state radio.

    "The gendarmes who are often stationed there have taken control of the entire area around the radio and TV headquarters, so everything is back to normal," Guy-Bertrand Mapangou added.

    In an earlier interview with the French broadcaster Radio France Internationale, Mr Mapangou said the young solders behind the attempted coup seemed like "a group of jokers", adding that "the military hierarchy says they do not recognise them".

  7. Coup masterminds 'not yet arrested'

    The masterminds of the attempted coup in Gabon have not yet been arrested, a military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters news agency.

    Young soldiers took control of the state radio station this morning and broadcast a plea for Gabonese people to rise up.

    Government spokesman Guy-Bertrand Mapangou said that four of those five officers were arrested. A fifth officer fled and is being pursued, he said.

    Outside the radio station, loyalist soldiers fired teargas to disperse about 300 people who had come out into the streets to support the coup attempt, a Reuters witness said. Helicopters circled overhead, they added.

    While the radio station has been surrounded by the elite republican guard, the anonymous source suggests that the people behind the coup attempt could still be free.

  8. Guards 'deployed around Gabon radio building'

    The elite Republican Guard has been deployed around the Gabonese state broadcasting headquarters and armoured vehicles blocked access to the area, an AFP correspondent saw.

    Soldiers had burst into state radio offices at dawn and called on the public to "rise up".

  9. What the soldiers asked

    Soldiers in radio station

    The government is now saying that they have arrested four mutineers and the situation is under control.

    Before the arrests, some soldiers aired a declaration on Gabonese state radio.

    Here are some key extracts:

    Quote Message: The message about the head of state, Ali Bongo Ondimba, aiming to end the debate on his health, has in fact reinforced the doubts on his ability to shoulder the heavy responsibilities linked to his position as president of the republic."

    Here is what they asked fellow young soldiers in the recording:

    Quote Message: The movement calls on all the youth among our security forces and all the Gabonese youth to join us by executing to the letter and immediately the following order: first that all the men and under-officers in the barracks get hold, by all means necessary, weapons and munitions. Secondly, take control of all transport means of the barracks, control and security posts, armouries and airports. Thirdly, that security and defence forces that are outside the barracks, retired soldiers wear their uniform in order to achieve the mission to enlighten the people in the street."

    They also called on normal civilians to take action:

    Quote Message: Stand up as one man and take control of the street by occupying airports, radio and television stations, public buildings until we can eliminate all the enemies of the nation."
  10. Gabon president's New Year speech 'a pitiful sight'

    Four soldiers who attempted a coup in Gabon overnight have been arrested, the government says, while a fifth is on the run.

    The group of young soldiers took to state radio this morning to announce the takeover, calling President Ali Bongo's recent New Year message "a pitiful sight".

    They branded his televised speech, in which he sought to put an end to the rumours about his health, a "relentless attempt to cling onto power".

    "It reinforced doubts about his ability to assume the responsibilities of his role as President of the Republic", said Lt Kelly Ondo Obiang, the leader of the so-called Patriotic Movement of the Defence and Security Forces of Gabon.

    The president is recovering from an undisclosed illness in Morocco. Some reports say he had suffered a stroke, but that has not been confirmed.

    A journalist based in neighbouring Cameroon is among those who shared the new year video message to social media:

    View more on twitter

    In it, President Bongo does not specify the nature of his illness, but refers to it as "a test" and adds he is "feeling better":

    Quote Message: It's true I've been through a difficult period, as happens in life. I made it through this test thanks to God, the people around me, my family in particular and your support... Today, as you can see, I'm feeling better.

    He goes on to say he will return to the country and pledges to "devote all my energy and strength to serving our country and improving everyday life".

  11. Four coup plotters arrested

    Gabon's minister of communication has told BBC News that they have arrested four soldiers who attempted a coup overnight.

    A fifth soldier is still on the run.

  12. AU condemns 'coup attempt'

    The head of the African Union has tweeted a reaction to the news from Gabon.

    The AU commission chairman says the organisation "strongly condemns the coup attempt":

    View more on twitter
  13. Coup attempt 'a huge suprise'


    Firmain Eric Mbadinga

    BBC Afrique

    This attempted coup has come as a huge surprise.

    The Bongo regime seemed to be totally in control, especially since President Bongo gave his New Year’s speech.

    The army has always been seen as loyal to the Bongo family, because it is dominated by the presidential guard, who mostly come from Bongo’s home region.

    There are reports of continuing clashes in central Libreville near the headquarters of the national TV station, RTG.

  14. 'Mutineers arrested' government says

    The AFP news agency has just sent out a few words from a government statement saying that the situation is under control and the mutineers have been arrested.

  15. 'Situation under control' - RFI

    A journalist with the French broadcaster Radio France Internationale is tweeting about the coup attempt in Gabon.

    He is reporting that the communications minister has said that the soldiers who tried to overthrow the president have been arrested.

    View more on twitter
  16. 'Everybody stay calm'

    People are tweeting pictures from the Gabonese capital, Libreville.

    One person, who describes herself as a "young Gabonese entrepreneur" in her Twitter bio, has shared a video of military vehicles driving around. But she calls on people to be calm.

    "It is not the whole army that's on the radio. The security forces are in the process of sorting out this isolated attempt. Let's stay calm and not go into a psychosis."

    View more on twitter
  17. Shooting 'heard in Libreville'

    People are posting videos on social media of what appears to be scenes the Gabonese capital, Libreville, in which gunshots can be heard in the background.

    View more on twitter
  18. Soldiers 'mount coup in Gabon'

    Soldiers in Gabon says they have mounted a coup d'etat in the oil-rich country.

    There are tanks and armed vehicles in the streets of the capital, Libreville, and a curfew has been imposed.

    A declaration from a group of young officers is being repeatedly aired on state radio, saying there were growing concerns about President Ali Bongo's ability to govern, and criticising the military top brass.

    Mr Bongo has been out of the country for more than two months, receiving treatment for an undisclosed illness he suffered during a visit to Saudi Arabia.

    The Bongo family has governed the country for the past 51 years and has been accused of amassing huge wealth from the country's natural resources.

    A Gabonese human rights organisation has posted on Twitter footage of what appears to be the coup announcement:

    View more on twitter
  19. Monday's wise words

    Our proverb of the day:

    Quote Message: Truth and morning become clearer step by step." from An Ethiopian proverb sent by Kidanemaryam Wagaw and Desta, both from Ethiopia.
    An Ethiopian proverb sent by Kidanemaryam Wagaw and Desta, both from Ethiopia.
    A sunrise pictured in Kenya

    Click here to send us your African proverbs.

  20. Good morning

    Welcome to BBC Africa Live where we'll be keeping you up to date with developments in Gabon in the wake of a coup and other African stories.