FILE PHOTO: Gabon's President Ali Bongo Ondimba addresses a meeting on climate change at the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and the Government of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia January 29, 2018. REUTERS/Tiksa Neger
LIBREVILLE, 7 Jan 2019: The military says it has seized power in oil-rich Gabon, where the ailing leader's family has ruled for 50 years, reported the BBC on Monday.
Soldiers in the west African country say they launched a coup "to restore democracy".
They took control of the national radio station at 04:00 local time (03:00 GMT) to read a short statement announcing a "National Restoration Council".
President Ali Bongo took over power in 2009 and has been out of the country for more than two months.
Tanks and armed vehicles can be seen on the streets of the capital Libreville.
President Bongo reportedly suffered a stroke in October and received treatment in Morocco.
He sought to put an end to the rumors about his health with a televised New Year message in which he said he was feeling fine