2019 Gabonese coup d'état attempt

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2019 Gabonese coup d'état attempt
Part of the aftermath of the 2016 Gabonese presidential election
Coup d'etat au Gabon - video 1.png
Gabonese Army vehicles in Libreville during the coup attempt
Date7 January 2019
0°23′33″N9°27′13″E / 0.39241°N 9.45356°E / 0.39241; 9.45356

Coup failed

Commanders and leaders
President Ali Bongo Ondimba Lt. Kelly Ondo Obiang

Armed Forces of Gabon

Armed Forces of Gabon faction

  • Republican Guard
Casualties and losses
2 killed [2]
8 arrested [2]
Gabon relief location map.jpg
Green pog.svg
Nexus of coup in Libreville (marked green), Gabon

On 7 January 2019, members of the Armed Forces of Gabon announced a coup d'état in Gabon. Military officers claimed that they had ousted President Ali Bongo, who had come into power in 2016 after a controversial election and protests. [3] During the absence of Ali Bongo, who was receiving medical treatment in Morocco, armed rebels in the capital city Libreville took hostages and declared that they had established a "National Restoration Council" to "restore democracy in Gabon". Widespread Internet outages occurred throughout the country, though it is unknown whether the Internet was shut down by the rebels themselves or by civilians. Gabon's government later declared that it had reasserted control.

Armed Forces of Gabon combined military forces of Gabon

The Armed Forces of Gabon is the national professional military of the Republic of Gabon, divided into the Army, Air Force, Navy, and a National Gendarmerie, consisting of about 5,000 personnel. Gabonese forces are oriented to the defense of the country and have not been trained for an offensive role. The armed forces includes a well-trained, well-equipped 1,800-member guard that provides security for the President of Gabon.

Gabon country in Africa

Gabon, officially the Gabonese Republic, is a country on the west coast of Central Africa. Located on the equator, Gabon is bordered by Equatorial Guinea to the northwest, Cameroon to the north, the Republic of the Congo on the east and south, and the Gulf of Guinea to the west. It has an area of nearly 270,000 square kilometres (100,000 sq mi) and its population is estimated at 2 million people. Its capital and largest city is Libreville.

Ali Bongo Ondimba President of Gabon

Ali Bongo Ondimba, sometimes known as Ali Bongo, is a Gabonese leader who has been President of Gabon since October 2009.


Additionally on 6 January 2019, a day before the coup attempt, American President Donald Trump sent 80 US troops to Gabon amid fears of violent protests in neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo. [4]

Donald Trump 45th president of the United States

Donald John Trump is the 45th and current president of the United States. Before entering politics, he was a businessman and television personality.

The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States of America. It consists of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The President of the United States is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and forms military policy with the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), both federal executive departments, acting as the principal organs by which military policy is carried out. All five armed services are among the seven uniformed services of the United States.

Democratic Republic of the Congo Country in Central Africa

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, also known as DR Congo, the DRC, DROC, Congo-Kinshasa, or simply the Congo, is a country located in Central Africa. It is sometimes anachronistically referred to by its former name of Zaire, which was its official name between 1971 and 1997. It is, by area, the largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa, the second-largest in all of Africa, and the 11th-largest in the world. With a population of over 78 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most populated officially Francophone country, the fourth-most-populated country in Africa, and the 16th-most-populated country in the world.


The military spokesman and leader of Patriotic Movement of the Defence and Security Forces of Gabon, Lieutenant Kelly Ondo Obiang, stated on national radio and state television on early Monday morning that he and his supporters were disappointed by President Ali Bongo’s message to the nation on New Year's Eve, calling it a "relentless attempt to cling onto power" [3] and saying it "reinforced doubts about the president's ability to continue to carry out of the responsibilities of his office". [5] Obiang also claimed they were setting up a "National Restoration Council...[for] restoring democracy" in Gabon. [6] [7] A nationwide internet disruption was detected by global internet observatory NetBlocks starting at approximately 7:00 am UTC. [8] [9] Among other things, Obiang delivered the following message (in French) on national radio: [10]

New Years Eve holiday celebrated on 31 December

In the Gregorian calendar, New Year's Eve, the last day of the year, is on 31 December. In many countries, New Year's Eve is celebrated at evening social gatherings, where many people dance, eat, drink alcoholic beverages, and watch or light fireworks to mark the new year. Some Christians attend a watchnight service. The celebrations generally go on past midnight into New Year's Day, 1 January.

NetBlocks is a non-governmental organization that monitors cybersecurity and the governance of the internet. The organization was founded in 2017 to monitor internet freedom.

"The eagerly awaited day has arrived when the army has decided to put itself on the side of the people in order to save Gabon from chaos... If you are eating, stop; if you are having a drink, stop; if you are sleeping, wake up. Wake up your neighbours ... rise up as one and take control of the street."

At the time of the coup, on 7 January, President Bongo was receiving unrelated medical treatment in Morocco; he had been out of the country for about two months. President Bongo had suffered a stroke while in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in October; his recorded New Year's wishes were the first time he had spoken in public since then. [11] [3]

Morocco country in North Africa

Morocco, officially the Kingdom of Morocco, is a country located in the Maghreb region of North West Africa with an area of 710,850 km2 (274,460 sq mi). Its capital is Rabat, the largest city Casablanca. It overlooks the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Morocco claims the areas of Ceuta, Melilla and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, all of them under Spanish jurisdiction.

Riyadh Capital city in Saudi Arabia

Riyadh is the capital and most populous city of Saudi Arabia, approximately 790 km (491 mi) North-east of Mecca. It is also the capital of Riyadh Province and belongs to the historical regions of Najd and Al-Yamama. It is situated in the centre of the Arabian Peninsula on a large plateau and home to more than six million people.

Saudi Arabia Country in Western Asia

Saudi Arabia, officially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is a country in Western Asia constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula. With a land area of approximately 2,150,000 km2 (830,000 sq mi), Saudi Arabia is the largest sovereign state in the Middle East, geographically the fifth-largest in Asia, second-largest in the Arab world after Algeria and 12th-largest in the world. Saudi Arabia is bordered by Jordan and Iraq to the north, Kuwait to the northeast, Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates to the east, Oman to the southeast and Yemen to the south. It is separated from Israel and Egypt by the Gulf of Aqaba. It is the only nation with both a Red Sea coast and a Persian Gulf coast, and most of its terrain consists of arid desert, lowland and mountains. Saudi Arabia is the largest economy in the Middle East as of October 2018 and the 18th largest in the world. The total number of population of Saudi Arabia is 33.4 million with 50% of youth population are under 25.

The pro-coup forces seized control of the national broadcaster Radio Télévision Gabonaise. Gabon's Republican Guard deployed various armoured vehicles throughout the capital, including Nexter Aravis MRAPs, a type not previously known to have been in the Gabonese Military's inventory. The coup attempt was put down by 10:30 am after the Gabonese Gendarmerie Intervention Group assaulted the Radio Télévision Gabonaise in which the pro-coup forces were holed up. Two pro-coup soldiers were killed in the assault. [12] Officers involved in the coup took hostages which have since been released by Gabonese officials. [2] Hours after the coup announcement, government officials stated that the situation was "under control" with rebels arrested or on the run; two of the rebels were shot dead and Lieutenant Obiang was reported under arrest. [3] NetBlocks observed that internet connectivity was briefly (though partially) restored across Gabon by 10:00 am UTC before falling back offline, and only returning fully 11:00 am the next day. [8] Security Minister Guy-Bertrand Mapangou stated that the eight surviving rebels were handed over to the public prosecutor. The government of Gabon announced that President Bongo would be returning to the country "very soon". [2]

Radio Télévision Gabonaise (RTG) is the national broadcaster of the Central African state of Gabon. Radio Télévision Gabonaise is headquartered in Gabon's capital city, Libreville.

Nexter Aravis

The Aravis is an infantry mobility vehicle developed and built by French company Nexter. An order for 15 Aravis vehicles was placed by the Délégation Générale pour l'Armement in April 2009 for use by the French Army as a reconnaissance and escort vehicle for engineer units. Deliveries for the initial order began in January 2010.

Guy-Bertrand Mapangou is a Gabonese politician. He is Minister of Interior, Public Security, Immigration of the new government of Prime Minister Pr Daniel ONA ONDO, the 28 January 2014. He was President of CNC Commission of National Communication since May 2012. He was Deputy Secretary-General and Spokesman of the Presidency of Gabon from October 2009 to January 2011 and he has been Minister-Delegate for State Reform since January 2011.

International reactions

African Union Supranational union

The African Union (AU) is a continental union consisting of 55 countries of the continent of Africa, with exception of various territories of European possessions located in Africa. The bloc was founded on 26 May 2001 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and launched on 9 July 2002 in South Africa. The intention of the AU is to replace the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), established on 25 May 1963 in Addis Ababa by 32 signatory governments. The most important decisions of the AU are made by the Assembly of the African Union, a semi-annual meeting of the heads of state and government of its member states. The AU's secretariat, the African Union Commission, is based in Addis Ababa.

Moussa Faki Chadian politician

Moussa Faki Mahamat is a Chadian and African politician and diplomat who has been Chairperson of the African Union Commission since 14 March 2017. Previously he was Prime Minister of Chad from 24 June 2003 to 4 February 2005 and Minister of Foreign Affairs from April 2008 to January 2017. Faki, a member of the ruling Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS), belongs to the Zaghawa ethnic group, the same group as President Idriss Déby.

Egypt Country spanning North Africa and Southwest Asia

Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, and across the Mediterranean lie Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, although none share a land border with Egypt.

See also

Related Research Articles

Little is known of the history of Gabon prior to European contact. Bantu migrants settled the area beginning in the 14th century. Portuguese explorers and traders arrived in the area in the late 15th century. The coast subsequently became a center of the slave trade with Dutch, English, and French traders arriving in the 16th century. In 1839 and 1841, France established a protectorate over the coast.

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1964 Gabonese coup détat

The 1964 Gabonese coup d'état was staged between 17 and 18 February 1964 by Gabonese military officers who rose against Gabonese President Léon M'ba. Before the coup, Gabon was seen as one of the most politically stable countries in Africa. The coup resulted from M'ba's dissolution of the Gabonese legislature on 21 January 1964, and during a takeover with few casualties 150 coup plotters arrested M'ba and a number of his government officials. Through Radio Libreville, they asked the people of Gabon to remain calm and assured them that the country's pro-France foreign policy would remain unchanged. A provisional government was formed, and the coup's leaders installed Deputy Jean-Hilaire Aubame, who was M'ba's primary political opponent and had been uninvolved in the coup, as president. Meanwhile, M'ba was sent to Lambaréné, 250 kilometres (155 mi) from Libreville. There was no major uprising or reaction by the Gabonese people when they received word of the coup, which the military interpreted as a sign of approval.

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