It appears that the coup attempt failed because the people behind it were small group of relatively unknown junior officers who did not seem to be very well prepared.

They asked the population to rise up and support them but this didn't happen, making it easy for the authorities to resume control.

However the attempt will shake the Bongo system which has been in control of Gabon for more than 50 years, but which was already under some pressure because of the presidentís ill health.

It will also reignite the question of leadership in Gabon.

It is almost certain there will be a witch hunt against anyone suspected of having links to the putschists.