A spokesman for the Gabonese government has told the BBC that "the situation is calm" following an attempted coup in the early hours of Monday which saw soldiers take over state radio.

"The gendarmes who are often stationed there have taken control of the entire area around the radio and TV headquarters, so everything is back to normal," Guy-Bertrand Mapangou added.

In an earlier interview with the French broadcaster Radio France Internationale, Mr Mapangou said the young solders behind the attempted coup seemed like "a group of jokers", adding that "the military hierarchy says they do not recognise them".