Opposition asks Gabon President to address nation following coup attempt

Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba is recuperating from an ailment in Morocco. [Photo: Courtesy]
A leading member of Gabon’s main opposition party has called on President Ali Bongo Ondimba to address the nation following Monday’s attempted coup.

The Central African country was hit by a coup attempt early on Monday, as junior officers tried to topple the government in the absence of President Ali Bongo.

Five soldiers were arrested after taking over a national radio and calling for their fellow soldiers to rise against the government.

Following that coup attempt, opposition politician Paul-Marie Gondjout called on the country’s president, who is recuperating from an ailment in Morocco, to address the nation.

“A coup like this today, the best thing would be for the president to come on TV and to reassure people that he is running the country and to urge people to be calm. That should be the normal situation,” Gondjout said.

“Everybody is nervous and we don’t know exactly what the real situation [is]. [The] head of state is not here for two months and a half. That’s not a good situation for us.”

Gondjout’s call comes after a spokesperson of the main opposition coalition, Claye Martial Obame Akué, denied any links between the soldiers and the opposition outfit.