Military junta release ousted Gabonese president Ali Bongo

African News

Former Gabonese President Ali Bongo, who was removed from power in a coup, has been granted the freedom to depart the country and travel overseas, according to the coup leader, General Brice Oligui Nguema, who made the announcement on state television.

Ali Bongo, who had governed for 14 years, had been placed under house arrest following the bloodless military coup on August 30, shortly after his party declared his reelection in a disputed vote.

Due to his health condition, which resulted from a severe stroke in October 2018, Ali Bongo has been permitted to travel for medical check-ups.

Colonel Ulrich Manfoumbi Manfoumbi, reading a statement signed by President Oligui, confirmed this. Ali Bongo’s stroke left him physically impaired, with limited mobility in his right leg and arm.

Ali Bongo succeeded his father, Omar, in 2009, who had ruled Gabon for 41 years with an authoritarian and corrupt regime. Ali Bongo’s own reelection in 2016 was marked by controversy, leading to disputes over the results.

In the coup’s immediate aftermath, his opponent, Ondo Ossa, called for Oligui to step aside, claiming victory in the elections that he believed were invalidated by the military takeover. Ossa also suggested familial connections between Oligui and Bongo, framing the event as more of a “palace revolution” perpetuating the “Bongo system.”