In a surprising turn of events, former President Ali Bongo of Gabon has been released by the Gabonese junta on medical grounds. This development occurred approximately one week after he was removed from power by the military, citing allegations of election irregularities.
Bongo’s ouster came shortly after he had been declared the winner of the Gabon presidential election. The military takeover and subsequent house arrest raised concerns about the stability of the nation.
OVERNIGHT: Gabon’s military rulers freed President Ali Bongo Ondimba and released a proof of life video.— Larry Madowo (@LarryMadowo) September 7, 2023
“He has freedom of movement and can travel abroad if he wishes to carry out his medical checks.” Bongo suffered a stroke in 2018 pic.twitter.com/B3kl4sBf9m
Gabon 24, the state television network, officially announced Bongo’s release on Wednesday night. According to a junta spokesman,
“Given his state of health, former President Ali Bongo is free to move about. He may also travel abroad for medical check-ups.”
In a show of transparency, the junta shared a video that depicted the former president walking inside his residence. This move is seen as an attempt to dispel rumors and assure the public of Bongo’s well-being.
Ali Bongo had been placed under house arrest following the military’s assumption of power. His release on medical grounds adds a new dimension to the ongoing political situation in Gabon, leaving questions about the nation’s future leadership unanswered.
The situation in Gabon remains fluid, with international observers closely monitoring developments to assess the impact on the country’s political stability.