Authorities in Gabon have doused tension following a military coup earlier on Monday morning.

The government of Gabon declared that it was in control, and that it had arrested most of those involved.

“Calm has returned, the situation is under control,” government spokesman Guy-Bertrand Mapangou, told AFP.

Only hours earlier, soldiers burst into state radio and called on the people to “rise up,” an apparent bid to oust ailing President Ali Bongo, who is out of the country. Of the five who did this, according to Mapangou, “four have been arrested and one is on the run.”

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The soldiers said they launched a coup to restore democracy.

They took control of the national radio station in the early hours of Monday to read a short statement announcing a “National Restoration Council”.

Tanks and armed vehicles were on the streets of the capital Libreville.

President Bongo took over power in 2009. He reportedly suffered a stroke in October and received treatment in Morocco.

Bongo sought to put an end to the rumours about his health with a New Year message in which he said he was feeling fine.

Soldiers said they had been disappointed by the message, calling it “a pitiful sight” and a “relentless attempt to cling onto power.”

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