In Gabon, Ali Bongo Ondimba was asked to leave the country to seek treatment. The ex-president must now choose his destination.
It's almost an invitation to leave the country. In Gabon, the new president, General Brice Oligui Nguema, indicated that Ali Bongo Ondimba, overthrown a few days after the Gabonese presidential election, was now "free to move" and that he could "go, if he wishes, abroad", in particular for medical reasons. Upon taking power, the soldier had specified that Ali Bongo was now "retired", but that he enjoyed "all his rights". "He's a normal Gabonese, like everyone else," said the general, even if the ex-president was apparently under house arrest.
The transitional president's announcement is above all a way of justifying what he had already stated previously: it was partly because of Ali Bongo's state of health that the coup d'état was launched. Just after the putsch, Nguema said: “In Gabon there is discontent and, beyond this discontent, there is the illness of the head of state”, who suffered a stroke at the end of 2018. “ Everyone talks about it, but no one takes responsibility. He had no right to serve a third term.”
We saw, however, when shooting a video calling for "making noise" for him, that Ali Bongo Ondimba did not seem physically weakened. But the Gabonese military junta does not want to take any risks and has announced that “given his state of health, the former President of the Republic, Ali Bongo Ondimba, is free to move around. He can, if he wishes, go abroad to carry out his medical checks”.
Affected, according to several media, in the right leg and arm, Ali Bongo Ondimba must now find where to go for treatment. In France, Ali Bongo is not yet bothered by the ill-gotten gains affair. But this will not be long in coming: nine members of the Bongo family have already been indicted last year and, now stripped of his benefits, Ali Bongo could also be worried. Usually, when seeking treatment, Ali Bongo Ondimba prefers to go to the United Kingdom or Morocco.
In addition to his destination, it also remains to be seen whether the former Gabonese president will one day set foot in Libreville again or not. If he is not a “hostage” of the military in power, Ali Bongo Ondimba seems, as his video showed, concerned about the fate reserved for his son and his wife. The latter two are currently in detention for having embezzled “massively public funds” and accused of having forged the signature of the head of state.