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23 mars 2019 | 15h27 UTC

Gabon: President Bongo returns from convalescence March 23

Gabon Alerte de sécurité

President Ali Bongo returns to Libreville after long convalescence abroad March 23; heightened security, rallies to be anticipated in capital

TIMEFRAME expected from 23/3/2019, 12h00 until 24/3/2019, 11h59 (Africa/Libreville). COUNTRY/REGION Gabon


President Ali Bongo returned to Libreville on Saturday, March 23, following a prolonged stay in Morocco for medical treatment and convalescence after suffering a stroke in October 2018. Supporters rallied in the capital on Saturday to welcome Bongo back to the country; associated heightened security measures and localized transportation disruptions are to be expected in the city. Further demonstrations, by both Bongo supporters and opponents, are possible in the coming days and weeks.


President Bongo has returned to Gabon for short periods twice since falling ill; this return is reportedly permanent, with the government claiming that the president's recovery is complete. Bongo's long absence fueled political instability and prompted recurring claims by the opposition that the president is no longer fit to hold office. A small group of soldiers attempted to stage a coup in January 2019, which was subsequently put down. 


Individuals in Gabon are advised to keep abreast of the situation, avoid large public gatherings (notably protests) due to the risk of violence, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments


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