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Gabon’s Republican Guard uses Aravis vehicles in counter-coup operation

09 January 2019

Gabon's Republican Guard (GR) deployed Nexter Aravis mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles (MRAPs) - a type it was not previously known to operate - during the operation to suppress a coup attempt in Libreville on 7 January.

Soldiers and vehicles – including an Aravis in the background – from the Republican Guard are seen outside the Radio Télévision Gabonaise building in Libreville on 7 January. (Steve Jordan/AFP/Getty Images)Soldiers and vehicles - including an Aravis in the background - from the Republican Guard are seen outside the Radio Télévision Gabonaise building in Libreville on 7 January. (Steve Jordan/AFP/Getty Images)

Led by a lieutenant, the coup plotters claimed to be part of a hitherto unknown organisation called the Patriotic Movement of the Defence and Security Forces Youth. They took control of the headquarters of the national broadcaster Radio Télévision Gabonaise (RTG) early on 7 January and released a message announcing the establishment of a national restoration council to carry out a democratic transition.

By 1030 h local time the government claimed to have the situation under control after the Gabonese Gendarmerie Intervention Group (GIGN) assaulted the RTG building, killing two of the coup plotters and capturing most of the others; one escaped, but was captured in the afternoon.





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