Gabon’s ousted president Ali Bongo ‘free to go abroad’

Gabon’s former president, Ali Bongo Ondimba, has been released from house arrest and is free to leave the country for medical treatment, the military which removed him from power last month has said.

Bongo, who had been held under house arrest since a military coup on August 30, was toppled from power shortly after he was declared the winner of much-criticised elections that would have seen him extend his 14-year rule as president.

“Given his state of health, the former President of the Republic Ali Bongo Ondimba is free to move about. He may, if he wishes, travel abroad for medical checkups,” Gabon’s military spokesman Colonel Ulrich Manfoumbi said in a statement read on national television on Wednesday evening.

The statement announcing Bongo’s release from house arrest was signed by General Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema, who was sworn in as Gabon’s new head of state on Monday.

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