In Gabon, ques­tions surge over ab­sent pres­i­dent

Swazi Observer - - NEWS -

GABON - Po­lit­i­cal spec­u­la­tion and con­cerns for the econ­omy have gone into over­drive in Gabon as ques­tions grow over the fate of Pres­i­dent Ali Bongo who was hos­pi­talis ed in Saudi Ara­bia two weeks ago.

Ac­cord­ing­toanon-Gabone­sesource close to Bongo, the pres­i­dent ‘suf­fered a stroke.’

"It's no longer life-threat­en­ing, and he is no longer un­der ar­ti­fi­cial res­pi­ra­tion," the source said, speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity, adding that Bongo was still in Riyadh.

An AFP jour­nal­ist who went to Riyadh's King Faisal Hos­pi­tal where Bongo was ad­mit­ted, was on Wed­nes­day told that all in­for­ma­tion on the pres­i­dent's health was sub­ject to ei­ther a ‘royal or­der’ or au­tho­ri­sa­tion from the Gabonese em­bassy.

Bongo, 59, fell ill on Oc­to­ber 24 dur­ing a visit to Riyadh to at­tend an eco­nomic fo­rum.

His spokesper­son Ike Ngouoni said doc­tors there had di­ag­nosed him with ‘se­vere fa­tigue’ and or­dered bed rest.

Since then, there has been no of­fi­cial news, and de­tails that are cir­cu­lat­ing are ei­ther sketchy or un­ver­i­fied. This vac­uum - along with mem­o­ries of the se­crecy-shrouded demise of Bongo's father, Omar Bongo, who died in of­fice in 2009 af­ter decades at the helm - has set the ru­mour mill churn­ing at full tilt. AFP

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