Gabon’s ruling party says president to return ‘very soon’

January 9, 2019 GMT

LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — Gabon’s ruling party says ailing President Ali Bongo Ondimba will return to the country “very soon” after a coup attempt early this week.

Gabonese Democratic Party secretary-general Eric Dodo Bounguendza spoke after authorities inspected the bloody scene where soldiers briefly took over the state radio station on Monday. The Republican Guard members encouraged youth to help them “restore democracy” in the oil-rich country.

Authorities have said eight plotters were arrested and two killed when special forces stormed the scene and released hostages. Security Minister Guy Bertrand Mapangou said the eight have been handed over to the public prosecutor.

While the capital, Libreville, was calm on Wednesday some concerns remained. Bongo is recovering in Morocco from a reported stroke in October.

Opposition figure Louis Gaston Mayila asked: “Who really heads Gabon?”