Gabon President to recover in Rabat, Morocco, not London, UK

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Ailing Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba will be flown to the Morrocan capital, Rabat, for medical recuperation after spending a month in a Saudi hospital, French news agency, AFP, reported on Saturday. 

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Jeune Afrique magazine reported last week that Bongo’s team had opted for London ahead of Rabat for his recuperation, but AFP quoted a source close to the presidency as disclosing that the 59-year-old will be convalescing in Rabat.

Mr Bongo suffered a stroke in Saudi Arabia on October 25, according to multiple media outlets, but the presidency in Gabon dismissed those reports and insisted that the president was a victim of fatigue from his numerous domestic and international obligations.

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Ali Bongo is the son of Omar Bongo, who was President of Gabon from 1967 until his death in 2009.

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Ali replaced his father in 2009 after his death and faced a tough re-election in 2016. 

His main opponent Jean Ping declared victory.

Below is a brief timeline of Bongo’s Saudi hospitalization as compiled by Africa News.

October 25 – Bongo admitted to the King Fahd hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – source at presidency tells Jeune Afrique.

October 29 – Government confirms hospitalization, warns against spread of fake news

October 31 – Cameroon channel banned for six-months for reporting Bongo’s death

November 11 – Bongo recovering his faculties, remains in charge – Presidency

November 14 – Opposition demands clarity on Bongo’s health

November 15 – Constitutional Court orders veep to chair cabinet meeting in Bongo’s absence

November 21 – Jeune Afrique reports Bongo to convalesce in London.

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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