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Reported Gabonese coup fizzles out but focuses attention on instability caused by continuing absence of ailing president

07 January 2019
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Gabonese authorities have quashed after a few hours an attempted coup on 7 January which appeared to be spearheaded by just a handful of soldiers.

A group of five broke into the national radio station at around 6.30 am local time (05:30 GMT) and announced a "national restoration council" would be formed to ensure a democratic transition while President Ali Bongo is convalescing in Morocco after having suffered a stroke in Saudi Arabia on 24 October. The message was read by a lieutenant who claimed he was the deputy commander of the Republican Guard and called on the military and general public to "rise up".

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