In Gabon, questions surge over absent president
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