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Gabon Army Takes Over State TV in Military Coup Attempt

Soldiers in Gabon appeared on state TV on Monday to claim they’d launched a coup to “restore democracy” in the West African country, but the government insists the situation is now “under control.” A soldier who identified himself as Lt. Obiang Ondo Kelly, commander of the Republican Guard, claimed the military has seized control of the government—he was flanked by two other soldiers holding guns. But spokesperson for the government told the BBC that four rebels had been arrested, with a fifth reportedly still on the run. “The situation is calm. 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,” said spokesman Guy-Bertrand Mapangou. President Ali Bongo, who succeeded his father in 2009, has been out of the country since October amid reports that he had a stroke. The family has been accused of profiting from the country’s natural resources while not investing in basic services.