Gabon Coup D’état attempt happened on the 7th January 2019, at 04:30 local time (03:30 GMT), when a National Radio Station in Libreville, the capital city of Gabon, was captured by soldiers from Gabon’s Military Forces. After the 1964 Gabonese Coup D’état Attempt, this is the 2nd one and they both failed.
Gabon’s President, Ali Bongo Ondimba was recovering from a stroke in Morocco as his Government was overthrown. The Bongo family has ruled the oil-rich Central African country of Gabon for almost half a century.
Lieutenant Kelly Ondo Obiang, the Gabon Coup D’etat leader, stated the reason and intention behind the Military Coup as an attempt to restore democracy. He read out a statement announcing what he called a “National Restoration Council”.
Security offices later managed to stormed the national radio building, kill two of the soldiers and arrested four. Just before we get into the details of the current situation after the Gabon Coup D’etat attempt, here are 10 reasons that may have fuelled the attempted coup.Lieutenant Kelly Ondo Obiang, the Gabon Coup D’etat leader, stated the reason and intention behind the Military Coup as an attempt to restore democracy. Click To Tweet
Here are the 10 Reasons why President Ali Bongo Ondimba Must Go:
Farida Bemba Nabourema is a human rights activist who is passionate about democracy and development in Africa. She complied a list of 10 Reasons why the dictatorship in Gabon must end and why Ali Bongo Must Go.Well @PresidentABO, if you can’t manage less than 2 million people with oil at your disposal then what can you manage? - @Farida_N Click To Tweet
Here is the list:
- President Ali Bongo seized power in 2009 following the death of his father who ruled Gabon for 42 years making him at the time, the longest serving president in the history of Africa!
- Ali Bongo’s rise to power was characterised by massive military repression, killings and assassinations.
- The Bongo family rules Gabon as a private clan. An oil rich country, Gabon has the second highest crude oil export per capita in Africa yet the regime is unable to lift about 55% of less than the 2 million people population in Gabon out of poverty. Well if you can’t manage 2 million people with oil at your disposal then what can you manage?
- From the dictators playbook: Don’t make anyone too rich enough to be able to pay for troops and weapons to overthrow you. So he and his cronies enjoy while the masses suffer.
- Ali Bongo was never meant to be a politician. A clueless spoiled son of the former President with no serious education, he spent the vast majority of his adulthood releasing songs that never hit beyond his father’s compound in pursuit of a talentless music career.
- As president, Ali Bongo‘s oafishness and mismanagement of funds sunk the country into an economic crisis. All public sectors went on strikes and schools closed for months as Bongo was unable to pay salaries.
- Gabon has a total population of less than 2 million people, but also has one of the highest GDP per capita thanks to crude oil exports. The Bongo Family regime is unable to guarantee basic education in Gabon. Classrooms are crowded and students seat on the floor on self made benches to take notes.
- The desperate conditions in schools led to massive students strikes in Gabon. Students took to the streets and demanded better conditions. Of course, they were severely repressed like it happens under every dictatorship.
- While education is an atrocious state, Ali Bongo being the clueless son of his father he has always been kept wasting public funds on frivolous expenses. Among these, he gave a $20 million to the University of Oregon in the US. At the same time a University in Gabon bearing has own fathers name has been shut down due to mismanagement and lack of resources.
- Ali Bongo spent 1 Million Dollars to bring in Lionel Richie and drove himself around town just to show off. The absurdity didn’t stop there. The president of Gabon. Ali Bongo imported fake snow to Gabon so that his family can have a White Christmas. All this happened while the country is stagnating in a severe economic crisis unable to repay debts. Now if you think Ali is crazy, check his sisters. As children of dictators, the Bongo kids are some of the frivolous dictatorial families in Africa. His sister Pascaline Bongo imported ice cream and chocolate worth $7000 from France and flowers worth $20,000 for a party.
African People are hard working but the elite continues to systematically control the present because they manipulated our history in their favour. Dictatorships have indeed slowed down the development in most of Africa. It is time for us to ensure accountable leadership.Clueless @PresidentABO gave $20 million to the @uoregon in US. While, Omar Bongo University, bearing his own fathers name is shut down due to mismanagement and lack of resources. - @Farida_N Click To Tweet
A Brief History of the Ali Bongo Family Half-Century Dictatorship in Gabon:
Gabon is located in the Central Africa off the Atlantic Ocean. It is surrounded by Equatorial Guinea and Central African Republic to the North, Democratic Republic of Congo (Formerly Zaire) to the East and Angola to the South.
The Black Panther is Gabon’s National Symbol. As a result, people have connected this oil-rich Central African country, to @Marvel Comic's Wakanda, a fictional country located in Sub-Saharan Africa. Click To Tweet
The Black Panther is Gabon’s National Symbol. As a result, people have connected this oil-rich Central African country, to Marvel Comic’s Wakanda, a fictional country located in Sub-Saharan Africa.Reddit Africa
Gabon’s profile and history prior to European contact is hazy. It was colonised by the French and gained independence on 17 August 1960, which is also celebrated as Gabon’s Independence Day. Despite this, political influence by the French in Gabon continues as you wills in this article.
President Ali Ondimba Bongo succeeded his father Omar Bongo as president in 2009. He ran for a second term in 2016 and narrowly won the reelection in a poll marred by violence and accusations of fraud. Post Election Violence erupted in after Ali Bongo was declared the winner.
The oil-rich Gabon has been ruled by the Bongo family who have held power for almost half a century. Making it the 2nd oldest military regime in Africa – after that of Faure E. Gnassingbe in Togo.The oil-rich Gabon has been ruled by the @PresidentABO family, who have held power for almost half a century. Making it the 2nd oldest military regime in Africa after that of @FEGnassingbe in Togo. Click To Tweet
His father Omar Bongo Ondimba also witnessed and may have been involved in the 1964 Gabonese Coup D’état Attempt, when officers overthrew the government of the country’s first post-colonial leader, President Léon M’ba. Omar Bongo Ondimba was chief of staff during the 1964 Gabonese Coup D’état Attempt. This led to his imprisonment.
President Omar Bongo Ondimba was the dictatorial president of Gabon for 42 years. This started in 1967 after the death of Léon M’ba (the previous president whose government was almost overthrown), until Omar Ondimba Bongo’s death in 2009.
Where was Ali Bongo when the Gabon Coup D’etat Attempt happened?
President Ali Bongo has been out of the country in Morocco. He was hospitalised in October 2018 after suffering a stroke. He has been in Morocco since then for treatment.
Following his stroke and absentia, the constitution was modified. This allowed a puppet occupancy of the presidential seat while Ali Bongo was touring countries for medical treatment. He resumed as president a few weeks ago paralysed and unable to function.With Gabon’s tremendous oil reserves, natural resources and a relatively small population of less than 2 million people, it can easily be the richest and happiest country in Africa but @PresidentABO has failed the people. Click To Tweet
The last time he seen online was in October 2018. Theres been very few pictures of him and theres questions with regard to his health status
These questions have led to doubts on Ali Bongo leadership capability and ability to run the country.
With Gabon’s tremendous wealth and relatively small population of less that 2 million people, it can easily be the richest and happiest country on the African continent. Ali Bongo and his cronies have failed the people of Gabon.
How the Gabon Coup D’etat Attempt happened (VIDEO):
Rebel soldiers took control of the national radio station in the capital, Libreville, at 04:30 local time (03:30 GMT). The Coup D’etat leader, Lt Kelly Ondo Obiang, read out a statement announcing what he called a “National Restoration Council”.
Members of the military appeared on state television saying they have launched a coup in the west African country. Early on Monday morning, The Coup D’etat leader, Lt Kelly Ondo Obiang, flanked by two others holding guns, read out a statement saying the military had seized control of the government ‘to restore democracy’.
“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,” the coup statement transcript read in part.Lieutenant Kelly Ondo Obiang
Lieutenant Kelly Ondo Obiang urged fellow military personnel, soldiers and citizens to arm themselves and take control of military bases, ammunition reserves, transport system, airports, and border crossings “in the interests of the nation”.Lieutenant Kelly Ondo Obiang, the Gabon Coup D’etat leader, flanked by two others holding guns, read out a statement saying the military had seized control of the government 'to restore democracy'. Click To Tweet
Representing a group called the Patriotic Movement of the Defence and Security Forces of Gabon, Lieutenant Kelly Ondo Obiang called out the the youth. He urged the young people to “take charge of their destiny”.
Internet Access was cut off immediately, especially around the capital in Libreville, after the coup announcement. More than 300 hundred people gathered in support of the coup at the broadcasting station where the coup announcement was mede.Representing a group called the Patriotic Movement of the Defence and Security Forces of Gabon, Lieutenant Kelly Ondo Obiang called out the the youth. He urged the young people to take charge of their destiny. Click To Tweet
Youth in the nearby Cocotiers settlement torched a car and set fire to tyres, while the security forces fired tear gas to disperse them. Most of the city was soon deserted. Businesses and companies told their workers to stay home.
The Attempted Coup De’tat came as a huge surprise since the military forces have always been loyal to President Ali Bongo. The bongo family ensured this by specifically dominated the presidential guard and military forces with people from Mr Bongo’s home region.
10 Striking Similarities of the February 1964 Gabonese Coup D’état Attempt & that of January 2019:
- Both presidents were sickly when the Gabon Coup D’etat Attempts were made.
- Most Gabonese people supported the Coup D’etat in both cases.
- The Coup D’etat happened in the beginning of the year.
- Military Forces were involved and behind the Coup D’etat plans.
- France and the French Government took the side of the President and condemned the Coup D’etat on each occasions.
- Capture and imprisonment of the Military Forces happened immediately after the toppled government took back power.
- None of the military forces in the Gabon Coup D’etat Attempts were successful in overthrowing the Government.
- It took less than two days for the toppled government to gain back control of Gabon.
- State Radio was used by the military as a tool to reach the Gabonese people.
- Each of the Gabon Coup D’etat Attempts arose from selfish interest by the sitting president who favoured family and local elites instead of the Gabonese people.
Current Situation in Gabon after the Attempted Coup D’etat:
Tanks and armed vehicles can be seen on the streets of the capital Libreville. Two suspects coordinators of the Coup D’etat have been killed, and seven others captured in failed Gabon coup attempt.
A statement from the office of the president said that Coup D’etat leader Lt Kelly Ondo Obiang was on the run for a brief period. He was later found hiding under a bed according to reports by Radio France Internationale (RFI).
Paul-Marie Gondjout, Gabon’s main opposition leader, denied any link with the rebel soldiers. Order seems to have been restored but people are still in the dark as to what is really going on now.A statement from @PresidentABO's office said that Coup D’etat leader Lt. Kelly Ondo Obiang was on the run for a brief period. He was later found hiding under a bed according to reports by @RFI_English Click To Tweet
However, Paul-Marie Gondjout suggested that the Vice President should be sworn in as head of state. This will help fill the power vacuum left by President Ali Bongo, whose health condition is deteriorating.
Guy-Bertrand Mapangou, who is also Gabon’s Government spokesman, said that the army generals, civil society and opposition leaders mentioned in the rebels’ statement as potential supporters would be investigated.
Gabon’s government has always been a dictatorship. The president has absolute power and can veto legislation that has been passed, dissolve the national assembly at wish, call a new election, or govern by presidential decree.Gabon's government has always been a dictatorship. The president has absolute power and can veto legislation that has been passed, dissolve the national assembly at wish, call a new election, or govern by presidential decree. Click To Tweet
?? What is behind Gabon’s coup attempt? (VIDEO)
1964 Gabonese Coup D’état Attempt: Léon M’ba – A Repetition of History?
Gabriel Léon M’ba was the 1st Prime Minister & President of Gabon. Being a member of the Fang ethnic group, Léon M’ba was born into a well off family. After school, he held a number of casual jobs then joined colonial administration as a customs agent.
The 1964 Gabonese Coup D’état Attempt happened in February of that year and was also staged by Gabonese military officers against the them President, Léon M’ba. President Leon M’ba was arrested and forced to sign a resignation letter which was later read over the Gabon radio.Military Personnel, troops, police & the Gabonese people, seemed to approve and support the bloodless 1964 Gabonese Coup D'état Attempt. There was no uprising when they heard of it and business continued as usual until France came… Click To Tweet
The Gabonese people seemed to approve the coup since there was no uprising when they heard of it. Military Personnel, troops and the police also supported the Coup by occupying main strategic points, including the presidential palace, the post office and the radio station.
There was order and no bloodshed. Business went on as usual as usual and everything seemed to be okay.
However, the French President Charles de Gaulle wanted to restore the M’ba government because of Prior aggrenents they had. After two days, the French Government came in and reinstated the Léon M’ba government. M’ba immediately imprisoned over 150 of his opponents, and gave them the infamous “no pardon or pity” and “total punishment”.French President Charles de Gaulle wanted to restore the Léon M'ba government because of Prior agreements they had. 2 days after the 1964 Gabonese Coup D'état Attempt, the French Government came in & reinstated the toppled… Click To Tweet
Due to fear, illness and old age, he is said to have spent most of the rest of his leadership under protection f French Troops in his presidential palace. Three years after the 1964 Gabonese Coup D’état Attempt, Léon M’ba was diagnosed with Cancer and died in November 1967. The greatest thing he left Gabonese people with as a leader is a legacy of corruption allegations.
Before the 1964 Gabonese Coup D’état Attempt, Gabon was Africa’s most stable countries – both political and economically. Gabon was also the only African country with a positive trade balance a that time.
Gabon earned a lot of revenue from okume timber, used in making plywood as well as offshore oil and manganese. It’s total exports exceeded imports by 30 percent.
Flash-forward to today, despite being a major oil producer, 1/3 of Gabonese people live in poverty. The relatively small population of 2 million, don’t have access to basic amenities like health and education.Despite being a major oil producer, 1/3 of Gabonese people live in poverty. The relatively small population of 2 million doesn't have access to basic amenities like health and education. Click To Tweet
Response to the Gabonese Coup from the International Community:
There has been both praise and condemnation from the international community towards the coup attempt.
President Trump deployed soldiers to Gabon. This was said to be an effort to protect US citizens amid fears of violent protests in the nearby Democratic Republic of Congo following its presidential election.President Trump @POTUS, deployed soldiers to Gabon. This was said to be an effort to protect US citizens amid fears of violent protests in DRC. However, people are speculating a connection and interference by the west. Click To Tweet
Most noteworthy in condemnation of the coup attempt is France, the former colonial rulers of Gabon.
France urged citizens to avoid moving into Libreville, as the coup leaders had asked, until calmness resumes. Also to note is a long-running French investigation into allegations of embezzlement by the same Government.
However, there have been speculations as to the involvement of both the French and American governments in Gabon’s political affairs. The timing of the US Troops deployment seems too suspicious.
Most theories link the west’s involvement in all this to the Gabon’s oil reserves and access to other natural resources in Central Africa.Theories have emerged linking the west’s involvement in all this to the Gabon’s oil reserves as well as access to other natural resources in Central Africa. Click To Tweet
The African Union A.U. also came out with a statement in condemnation of the Coup attempt.President of the Commission of the African Union. Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat said this in a tweet:
The African Union strongly condemns the coup attempt this morning in #Gabon. I reaffirm the AU’s total rejection of all unconstitutional change of power.
Also to note is that Gabon’s 2016 presidential elections were slammed as rigged and heavily criticised by the same African Union.
Social Media Outrage after Moussa Faki Mahamat A.U. Statement on the Coup:
Moussa Faki Mahamat’s tweet received a lot negative and positive feedback. This came from people in other African countries and the rest of the world, who either supported or condemned the coup:
Here are some of the responses:
To Your Point If President Kabila is determined to instal his preferred Successor and the @_AfricanUnion [which has only once pronounced against an Election [2008 Zimbabwe]] or SADC or its neighbours are not prepared to enforce the will of the People thenPresident Ali Bongo seized power in 2009 following the death of his father who ruled Gabon for 42 years making him at the time, the longest serving president in the history of Africa! - @Farida_N Click To Tweet
You should be ashamed for supporting unconstitutional regimes and doing bidding for dictators and tyrannical leaders. You defeated the purpose of African Union @AUC_MoussaFakiAli Bongo @PresidentABO rise to power was characterised by massive military repression, killings and assassinations. - @Farida_N Click To Tweet
Military coups cannot be the answer to the desire for change. Coups should be anathema, and the @_AfricanUnion is right to condemn the coup attempt in #Gabon.
Change must come via the vote, and people must be allowed to exercise their civic and constitutional right unencumbered. Furthermore, and speaking broadly, the will of the people in any election should always be respected.
This does not happen enough. If it did, there’d be far less chance of renegade elements of any armed forces feeling they need to resort to power grabs by means of military coups.The Bongo family rules Gabon as a private clan. Gabon has the 2nd highest crude oil export per capita in Africa yet the regime is unable to lift about 55% of less than the 2 million people population in Gabon out of poverty. -… Click To Tweet
Lol how AU is comfortable with dictatorial regimes is just sickening at best.From the dictators playbook: Don’t make anyone too rich enough to be able to pay for troops and weapons to overthrow you. So he and his cronies enjoy while the masses suffer. - @Farida_N Click To Tweet
Masters slaves in Africa. You get frustrated if the Interest of France is at stake but you find total joy when #PaulBiya kill thousands of unarmed civilians in #southernCameroon? Shameless western puppetAli Bongo was never meant to be a politician. A clueless spoiled son of the former President with no serious education, he spent the vast majority of his adulthood releasing songs that never hit beyond his father’s compound. -… Click To Tweet
We don’t want coup attempt in #Africa. So as we don’t want dictators who can’t guarantee democracy over their person needs, that’s why citizens may decide to take control of their nation. Plus, can AU do anything about it!? it normally doesn’t react to other concerning issues.As @PresidentABO oafishness and mismanagement of funds sunk the country into an economic crisis. All public sectors went on strikes and schools closed for months as Bongo was unable to pay salaries. - @Farida_N Click To Tweet
No one will take the AU seriously when it only speaks when one of its elites i.e a President is affected. AU never speaks on xenophobia and migration and slavery of Africans especially the slavery in Libya.
AU was slow and slient. This year 2019 is about how we challenge the status quo of sit-tight leaders in Africa especially the dynasties and those who have been in office for more than 20 years. Africa is led by so many long stay leaders.
There is an African leader who has been in power since I was 13 in 1979 and he is still in office. That was 40 years ago. So many peopke my age have become Governors and even Macron was born after 1979. AFRICA WHY?The desperate conditions in schools led to massive students strikes in Gabon. Students took to the streets and demanded better conditions. Of course, they were severely repressed like it happens under every dictatorship. - @Farida_N Click To Tweet
We also urge the Chairperson of the Commission to speak out strongly and condemn the unfair treatment of the returnees by the government of Cameroon, and request the government to immediately release them from unlawful detention.The president of Gabon @PresidentABO imported fake snow to Gabon so that his family can have a White Christmas. All this happened while the country is stagnating in a severe economic crisis unable to repay debts. - @Farida_N Click To Tweet
AU autocrats!!!!! Useless body to the generality of Africans but useful to the dictators, plunderers and coup leaders. AU should wake up action is needed across the continent. Unfortunately member states are themselves lacking capacity to drive the organisation and Africa forward
AU is a toothless dog. A liability to Africans. Watching dictatorial elements in Africa in silence as more lives are lost? NEXT ON LINE should be;
Sir, your double standards are breathtaking. Are you forgetting that you allowed ” unconstitutional change of power” in Zimbabwe (November 2017)? As if not enough, in DRC Kabila continued to rule for 2 years after his term expired & you are there watchingAli Bongo spent $1 Million Dollars to bring in @LionelRichie and drove himself around town with him just to show off while schools are unable to pay lecturers and doctors are striking. Click To Tweet
AU needs to step it up and uphold moral ethics of nation that is vastly rich in resources but is suppressed by the current leaders. Allow Gabon to be free.
Farida Bemba Nabourema’s Biography:Farida Bemba Nabourema @Farida_N, is a human rights activist who is passionate about democracy and development in Africa. Click To Tweet
Farida Bemba Nabourema is a human rights activist who is passionate about democracy and development in Africa. She was born on April 19, 1990 in Lomé, Togo, where she attended primary and secondary school.
After obtaining the BAC in 2007, passionate about history, she enrolled in the Department of History at the University of Lome before leaving to the United States at the age of 18 to continue her higher education.
She will study International Relations with a specialization on the Middle East at the School of International Studies at American University in Washington D.C.