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Life slowly resumes in Gabon's capital after coup

Vendors sell goods to customers in Libreville   -  
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-/AFP or licensors


In the heart of Gabon's capital Libreville, signs of Wednesday’s coup are still visible with the usually bustling city centre remaining surprisingly calm.

However, a very different scenario is unfolding at the country's largest market, Mont-Bouet.

Here, residents have decided not to let political uncertainty get in the way of their determination to resume normal life.

The market rows are a living picture of resilience and economic recovery.

Small and large traders have opened their stalls, offering everything from fresh produce to handicrafts.

Local trader, Tanguy Ntoutoume, says the election period was “hectic” and people were very afraid of what might happened.

"We had to finish at three or even two-thirty in the afternoon. We packed up everything and went home, because there were soldiers everywhere,” he said.

But he says that the announcement by General Brice Oligui Nguema that that everyone should get back to work on Thursday was reassuring.

“His announcement that we should resume trading from six in the morning is what convinced us to come to the market.”

As Gabon seeks to recover from the political upheaval, the military putschists have announced that the new strongman will be sworn in as "transitional president" on Monday.

After almost 60 years under the control of the same family, the country is at a turning point in its history. It remains to be seen how it will recover from this coup d'état.

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