Gabon thwarts coup attempt as plotters are killed, hostages freed
The Gabonese government has successfully countered a military coup attempt that had taken control of state radio services and a major traffic route in the capital of Libreville. President Ali Bongo took power in 2009 upon the death of his father, who had ruled the country for over 40 years. The country has relied on oil revenues to meet its budgetary expenses, but a dip in oil production and prices have seen debt escalate sharply. Most of the country’s 2 million inhabitants live under the poverty line at a sharp contrast to the elites connected to the country’s natural resource wealth. In a seemingly unrelated coincidence, the US moved troops into Gabon over the past couple of days in order to deploy rapidly to the DRC if American personnel there come under threat from election protests. Given the timing, some experts have questioned this reasoning as Gabon does not directly border the DRC.