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Gabon president Ali Bongo calls on friends to ‘make noise’ over coup

Ali Bongo

Gabon’s President Ali Bongo has appeared in a video calling for his “friends” to “make noise” after military officers in the oil-rich central African state staged a coup.

Sitting in what he says is his residence – in a grand room complete with wood-panelled walls, ornate carpets and leather-bound books – Ali Bongo says: “My son is somewhere, my wife is in another place.

“Nothing is happening. I don’t know what is going on.”

He again urges his “friends” to speak up, before thanking them.

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A communications company that was working for the presidency during the election has been in contact with the BBC to confirm the authenticity of the footage. It has been asked by Bongo’s office to circulate the video.

Notably, Bongo speaks in English. The official language of Gabon – a former French territory, from which it gained independence in 1960 – is French.

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