President Ali Bongo was hospitalized on October 24 during a trip to Saudi Arabia, raising the prospect of political uncertainty. President Bongo's condition remains unclear as of November 9, with recent media accounts citing medical and diplomatic sources that claim the president's hospitalization was due to a stroke. However, the government has refuted this and maintains that he remains in hospital due to "fatigue." On November 8, seniors of the ruling Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) called on the government to clarify Bongo's health condition, warning of a deteriorating political climate. However, the committee stated that a vacation of power was not scheduled.
Uncertainty over Bongo's health may foment unrest in the capital Libreville and other cities over the coming days and weeks. A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are to be expected near any potential demonstration sites. Should protests develop, clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Political tensions remain high in Gabon following the 2016 presidential elections, perceived by many as fraudulent.
Individuals in Gabon are advised to keep abreast of the situation, avoid public gatherings due to the potential for violence, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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