Ethiopia releases Lebanese businessman held since last week
BEIRUT (AP) — The Lebanese Foreign Ministry says Ethiopia has released a Lebanese businessman who had been detained in the African nation since last week.
Chimpanzees spotted cracking open tortoises for meat
BERLIN (AP) — Scientists have observed wild chimpanzees tucking into an unusual snack: tortoises, whose hard shells they crack against tree trunks before scooping out the meat.
Ailing Gabon president returns to Morocco for rehabilitation
LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — Gabon's ailing President Ali Bongo Ondimba has returned to Morocco to continue his recovery after a brief visit home, an official and a relative said Thursday.
The relative said Bongo returned to Morocco late Tuesday after swearing in a new government. A Cabinet member confirmed it. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
The Cabinet member said Bongo's recovery from a reported stroke has been strong.
Gabon’s ailing president returns for government swearing-in
LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — Gabon's President Ali Bongo Ondimba, who has been out of the country for health reasons since October, has returned for the swearing-in of his new government.
Bongo's return comes a week after an attempted coup by officers with the Republican Guard. Two of the plotters were killed and four others were arrested and face life sentences, authorities have said.
Gabon prosecutor says coup plotters face life imprisonment
LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — Gabon's prosecutor general says the arrested coup plotters face life imprisonment under Gabon's penal code.
Olivier N'Zahou said late Wednesday that six individuals staged the coup attempt, including a gendarme who was on duty at the station and was convinced to join the movement at the time of the attempt. Another Republican Guard member joined them as well. He said two were killed and the other four arrested.
Gabon’s ruling party says president to return ‘very soon’
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.
Gabon officials inspect radio building of attempted coup
LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — Gabon officials are inspecting the country's state radio station where security officers thwarted a coup attempt by army soldiers on Monday.
Students in the capital, Libreville, returned to schools Tuesday, markets opened, the radio was back on air and phone lines were restored as President Ali Bongo Ondimba's government retained control.
Government spokesman Guy-Bertrand Mapangou said two coup plotters were killed and eight others were arrested in the attempted coup.
Gabon government thwarts coup attempt, 2 plotters dead
LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — Gabon's government thwarted an attempted military coup on Monday, retaining control of the oil-rich West African nation after two plotters were killed and other army officers were arrested, the government said.
Authorities regained control of state broadcasting offices and a major thoroughfare in the capital, Libreville, which were the only areas taken over by the officers, government spokesman Guy-Betrand Mapangou told Radio France International.
A look at Gabon, where government foiled an attempted coup
DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — A look at Gabon, the Central West African country where the government has retained power after putting down an attempted coup on Monday.
Africa is divided over ivory trade ahead of wildlife meeting
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Several African countries with some of the world's largest elephant populations will push this year for looser controls on legal ivory trade, while another group of countries on the continent says more restrictions are the best way to curb the illegal killing of elephants for their tusks.
Salah, Mane, Aubameyang compete for African award
CAIRO (AP) — Liverpool forwards Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, and Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, are the three finalists for the African player of the year award in a repeat of last year's shortlist.
The winner will be announced on Jan. 8 in Dakar, Senegal.
The Confederation of African Football announced the finalists on Tuesday from an original list of 34 players.
Gabon’s ailing leader meets, reassures officials on health
LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — Gabon's government has broadcast new images of its ailing head of state, President Ali Bongo Ondimba, in his second public appearance since his hospitalization in Saudi Arabia in October and transfer to Morocco last week for convalescence.
The broadcast late Tuesday shows the 59-year-old, seated in profile, receiving a Gabonese delegation.
Gabon’s president makes 1st public appearance since illness
LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — Gabon's government has released a video showing President Ali Bongo Ondimba meeting with Morocco's king in his first public appearance since Bongo fell ill in October.
The video shared late Monday shows the men sitting and chatting in front of their national flags as King Mohammed VI visited Bongo, who is recovering at a Rabat hospital.
Gabon’s president transfers to Morocco for further treatment
LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — Gabon's government says President Ali Bongo Ondimba, who has been in treatment in Saudi Arabia for more than a month, will be transferred to Morocco on Wednesday to continue treatment.
The statement says Bongo feels better and "is in full possession of all his faculties." Bongo's wife, Sylvia Bongo Ondimba, says in a message on Twitter that the transfer to Morocco was possible due to "a very significant improvement" in his health.
Gabon: Government says president recovering in Saudi Arabia
LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba is recovering from an undisclosed illness in Saudi Arabia and still performing his duties, according to a statement released Sunday amid mounting speculation about his health.
BROOKFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A baby gorilla born a month ago at a zoo in suburban Chicago has been named Ali.
Brookfield Zoo says a donor chose the name of the western lowland gorilla that was born June 1.
Zoo spokeswoman Sondra Katzen says she doesn't know why Ali was the name chosen.
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The African nation of Gabon has arrested and handed over three men wanted in Turkey for ties to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday, vowing to press ahead with efforts to chase the cleric's followers abroad.
The three Turkish nationals, who were directors of schools linked to Gulen in Gabon, were arrested by authorities in Gabon's capital, Libreville, on March 23, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Gabon says major ivory trafficking ring dismantled, 10 held
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Gabon says a major trafficking ring that smuggled six tons of ivory out of the country in 2017 has been dismantled, in a victory against poachers who have killed large numbers of forest elephants in the Central African country.
Egypt’s Mohamed Salah wins African Player of the Year
ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — Mohamed Salah won African Player of the Year on Thursday, a reward for success on all fronts in 2017 for the Egypt forward after he inspired his country to a long-awaited World Cup place and had a phenomenal start to his career at Liverpool.
Salah won ahead of Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane of Senegal and Borussia Dortmund and Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the other finalists at the Confederation of African Football awards ceremony in Accra, Ghana.
2 Danish journalists violently attacked in Gabon
LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — A man stabbed two Danish journalists in Gabon's capital, declaring it was in retaliation for U.S. attacks against Muslims and leaving one reporter in serious condition, Gabon's defense minister said.
The attack Saturday occurred while the journalists were shopping at an artisanal market, a site popular with tourists. It is the first of its kind in this West African country where Muslims and Christians coexist peacefully.
Corruption fuels ivory trade in Central Africa, study says
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A new study says the illegal sale of ivory in open markets in Central Africa has been disappearing or going underground. But it warns that corruption and weak governance are undermining efforts to curb regional trafficking.
BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Authorities in Mali say one woman is still missing three days after Islamic extremists attacked a resort area near the capital.
Police said Wednesday that the woman is a dual French-Gabonese national. Five people, including a man of French-Gabonese citizenship, already have been confirmed dead.
Authorities continue their investigation into the men blamed for Sunday's attack on the Campement Kangaba, a spot popular with foreigners.
South Carolina forward Chris Silva’s journey from Gabon to the Final Four
GLENDALE, Ariz. – The phone calls between Chris Silva and his dad are neither frequent nor cheap.
The simple logistics of arranging a call from Columbia, South Carolina, to Libreville, Gabon are prohibitive. There is the five-hour time difference, for starters.
It’s a routine the two have performed for four-and-a-half years, since Silva moved from Gabon to New Jersey as a 15-year-old, hoping to play basketball for Roselle Catholic High and, someday, in the NBA.
Benefactor who bought suits for French candidate named
PARIS (AP) — An official says the benefactor who bought French presidential candidate Francois Fillon two suits worth 13,000 euros ($14,000) last month is an unofficial adviser for African and French presidents.
Lawyer Robert Bourgi had close links to former French presidents Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy, as well as the former leaders of Senegal and Gabon.
The judges who already were investigating Fillon have extended their probe to include the suits he says he received as a gift.
Cameroon champion of Africa again, denies Egypt 8th title
LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — Cameroon rose again after years of underachievement to win the African Cup of Nations title on Sunday with a fabulous goal in the 89th minute of the final for a 2-1 come-from-behind victory against mighty Egypt.
As the final whistle got nearer, substitute Vincent Aboubakar controlled the ball just outside the area, clipped it over a defender, and then shot past the goalkeeper to clinch Cameroon's fifth African title and first since 2002.
Burkina Faso beats Ghana in 3rd-place match at African Cup
PORT-GENTIL, Gabon (AP) — Alain Traore fired in an 89th-minute free kick to give Burkina Faso a 1-0 win over Ghana in the third-place match at the African Cup of Nations on Saturday, the game that no one wants to play.
Beautiful game? Not for exploited soccer players in Africa
LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — Only a tiny minority of African soccer players achieve stardom and the rich rewards that go with it. Some of them will feature in Sunday's African Cup of Nations final, while for thousands of journeymen professionals on this continent, it's not a beautiful game but an ugly and abusive system that has let them down badly.
African Cup: Cameroon through to final, Ghana fails again
FRANCEVILLE, Gabon (AP) — Cameroon didn't need its big-name players to make the African Cup of Nations final.
Instead, Cameroon's youngsters — described by their coach as a bunch of friends who just like to play football — knocked out mighty Ghana on Thursday and set up a title decider against record seven-time champion Egypt.
Egypt turns back the clock to reach African Cup final
LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — Egypt's 44-year-old goalkeeper made two saves in a penalty shootout win over Burkina Faso on Wednesday to lead the African Cup of Nations' most successful team back into the final after seven years of hurt.
Essam el-Hadary dived high to his left to save from Burkina Faso goalkeeper Kouakou Koffi, and then stopped the decisive penalty from Bertrand Traore to make the record seven-time winner's return to the African Cup a joyous one.
African Cup semifinals: Things to know
LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — Egypt and its 44-year-old goalkeeper still haven't conceded a goal at this African Cup of Nations. The Pharaohs' formidable defense and some other things to know ahead of the African Cup semifinals, which are Egypt vs. Burkina Faso on Wednesday and Ghana vs. Cameroon on Thursday:
Egypt inspired by history, Burkina Faso by a phone call
LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — Egypt has a history of success at the African Cup of Nations for its inspiration. Semifinal opponent Burkina Faso got a phone call from Jose Mourinho.
The first semi at the African championship in Gabon on Wednesday pits Egypt, with seven titles, against Burkina Faso, with none, and yet the story is not so simple.
Ghana goalkeeper fined for expletive-laden tirade at fans
LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — Ghana goalkeeper Razak Brimah has been fined $2,500 for an expletive-laden tirade in a video posted on social media during the African Cup of Nations that was aimed at fans who had criticized his performances.
The Ghana Football Association announced the punishment on Tuesday, two days ahead of Ghana's African Cup semifinal match against Cameroon in Gabon. Razak will be able to play in that game.
Senegal’s loss is Liverpool’s gain as Mane returns early
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Senegal's heartbreaking loss in the African Cup of Nations could be Liverpool's gain in the Premier League.
Sadio Mane, Senegal's star player, was in despair after missing the decisive spot kick in a penalty shootout loss to Cameroon in the quarterfinals on Saturday in Gabon.
3 giants, 1 outsider: African Cup semifinal lineup decided
LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — The fallen giant of the African Cup of Nations is rising again as Egypt became the final team on Sunday to force its way into the semifinals amid late drama.
The record seven-time champion, held back by years of political upheaval back home, returned to the last four for the first time since 2010 with an 87th-minute winner over Morocco in the last quarterfinal in Gabon.
Ivory Coast coach Dussuyer quits after African Cup failure
LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — Michel Dussuyer has resigned as coach of Ivory Coast after the defending champion failed to advance from the group stage at the African Cup of Nations in Gabon.
The Frenchman's exit was confirmed by the Ivory Coast Football Federation on Sunday.
Dussuyer was in charge of the Ivorian team for just 18 months, having taken over the African champion from Frenchman Herve Renard.
Senegal and Mane blow it, lose to Cameroon on penalties
LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — Senegal and Sadio Mane blew it at the African Cup of Nations, with the title favorite's star player missing the decisive spot kick in a penalty shootout loss to Cameroon in the quarterfinals on Saturday.
Mane saw his penalty, Senegal's fifth and final, saved by Cameroon goalkeeper Joseph Ondoa. Stunned, Mane turned to face his dejected teammates on the halfway line and muttered something under his breath.
African Cup: Things to know ahead of the quarterfinals
PORT-GENTIL, Gabon (AP) — Ghana has serious injury concerns over captain Asamoah Gyan ahead of the African Cup of Nations quarterfinals, while Senegal has no problems at all with the goal-scoring form of Sadio Mane.
Egypt, after seven years of struggle, is back in the big time and faces North African rival Morocco for a place in the last four. Congo, Tunisia and Burkina Faso are the teams looking to surprise.
Some things to know and players to watch as the knockout stages begin this weekend:
Return of the kings: Egypt back in African Cup quarterfinals
PORT-GENTIL, Gabon (AP) — Seven years of soccer gloom might be slowly lifting for Egypt.
The African Cup of Nations' most successful team made it back to the quarterfinals on Wednesday, beating one of the title contenders along the way. A 1-0 win over Ghana ensured its long-awaited return to the championship will continue for at least a little while longer.
Curse of the champion strikes Ivory Coast, Congo dances on
PORT-GENTIL, Gabon (AP) — The curse of the defending champion struck Ivory Coast at the African Cup of Nations and Congo put a strike over money well behind it to dance into the quarterfinals on Tuesday.
The titleholder and a team of big stars from European clubs, Ivory Coast didn't even make it past the group stage in its defense, crashing out without winning a game.
Algeria coach Leekens resigns after African Cup elimination
FRANCEVILLE, Gabon (AP) — Algeria coach George Leekens has resigned following the team's early exit from the African Cup of Nations.
Algeria, among the pre-tournament favorites, failed to win a match in Gabon. The Desert Foxes finished third in Group B, losing to Tunisia and drawing with Zimbabwe and Senegal.
Goal rush at African Cup as Algeria out, Tunisia through
PORT-GENTIL, Gabon (AP) — Algeria was eliminated from the African Cup of Nations in Gabon in a goal rush in the final games in Group B on Monday.
The one-time title contender drew with Senegal 2-2 and learned Tunisia went through to the quarterfinals in its place by beating Zimbabwe 4-2.
Togo goalkeeper may not play after house vandalized
PORT-GENTIL, Gabon (AP) — Togo coach Claude le Roy is not sure if veteran goalkeeper Kossi Agassa will play in a crucial game at the African Cup of Nations after his house in Lome was vandalized by supporters who blamed him for a loss.
Agassa was "emotionally affected" by the news and will be allowed to skip Togo's final group match against Congo in Gabon on Tuesday if he wishes, Le Roy said. Togo's hopes of qualifying for the quarterfinals rest on the game.
African Cup: Gabon gone & Algeria, Ivory Coast on the edge
LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — Gabon is gone at the African Cup of Nations, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's team becoming the first host since Tunisia in 1994 to be eliminated in the group stages.
Four teams have now qualified for the quarters: Senegal, Ghana, and Burkina Faso and Cameroon from Gabon's group.
Here's a look at how the groups at the African Cup now stand in the race for a place in the quarterfinals.
Host Gabon out of African Cup; Cameroon, Burkina Faso in QFs
LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — The width of a goalpost denied host Gabon a place in the quarterfinals of the African Cup of Nations on Sunday, with the desperate home team's fate sealed by a 0-0 draw with Cameroon and an agonizing miss in the dying seconds.
The draw with Cameroon, combined with Burkina Faso's 2-0 win over Guinea-Bissau in the final round of Group A games, saw Cameroon and Burkina Faso go through to the quarterfinals and Gabon slide out.
Hackers claim to take down oil company website over soccer
LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — Hackers said they took out the website of French oil company Total on Sunday over its sponsorship of the ongoing African Cup of Nations soccer tournament in the central African country of Gabon.
The hackers said they targeted Total because of its backing of the African Cup in Gabon after President Ali Bongo Ondimba retained power in disputed and violent elections last year.
Ghana reaches quarterfinals as hackers target African Cup
LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — In a curious twist even for this occasionally erratic soccer tournament, the African Cup of Nations was targeted by hackers on Saturday, with a group claiming to be Russian saying they had "taken down" the tournament's official website in a protest against what they called host country Gabon's dictatorial president.
Hackers claim to have shut down African Cup website
LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — A group of hackers claiming to be based in Russia said Saturday they had shut down the website of the African Cup of Nations soccer tournament in a protest at organizers holding it in the "dictatorship" of Gabon, where President Ali Bongo Ondimba retained power in disputed and violent elections last year.
Ivory Coast faces tough road, Togo thwarted by bumpy field
LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — Ivory Coast's defense of its African Cup title looked shaky on Friday in a 2-2 draw with Congo, and a bumpy field helped Morocco see off Togo 3-1. The Ivorians dropped out of the quarterfinal places with one crucial round left in Group C.