Gabon says 'situation under control' after apparent coup attempt

Soldiers on Gabon state TV read a statement saying they have seized control of the government on Monday, January 7, 2019.

(CNN)The government in Gabon says the "situation is under control" and that rebels there have been arrested after military officers seized state media and announced they had leadership of the country.

The officers declared their dissatisfaction with President Ali Bongo and said they had seized power to "restore democracy" in the Central African nation.
However, government spokesman Guy-Bertrand Mapangou told French news outlet RFI that defense forces have now taken back control of state TV and radio.
"It seems it was a group of troublemakers because military officials say they weren't aware of this group," Mapangou said, adding that four have been arrested and that a fifth is "on the run."

    What happened?

    In a video which circulated on social media appearing to show the events, several officers stood in a radio studio dressed in military fatigues.
    A man, who described himself as commander of the Republican Guard and president of the Patriotic Movement of the young security forces of Gabon, said in a lengthy statement that there has been a decline in the President's health and in his presidential capacities. He said, as two men dressed as officers stood behind him with guns, that the Patriotic Movement would preserve the integrity of the nation.
    The officer said it was disappointed by Bongo's message on December 31 from Morocco where he is recovering from a stroke. Bongo has been battling ill health since October and acknowledged the speculation about his health during his New Year's speech while reiterating that he was recovering.
    African Union's Commission chair, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said the AU totally rejects "all unconstitutional change of power."