Gabon's ailing president returns for government swearing-in

Gabon's ailing president returns for government swearing-in, months after reported stroke

LIBREVILLE, Gabon -- Gabon's President Ali Bongo Ondimba, who has been out of the country for health reasons since October, has returned for the swearing-in of his new government.

Bongo's return comes a week after an attempted coup by officers with the Republican Guard. Two of the plotters were killed and four others were arrested and face life sentences, authorities have said.

Local media said Bongo arrived overnight from Morocco, where he had been recovering from a reported stroke he suffered in Saudi Arabia. The government has said little about his condition.

"His presence is a sigh of relief for the economy of our country. It must reassure businessmen," said Minister of Economy Jean Marie Ogandaga.

Bongo made no statements at Tuesday's swearing-in. He appointed a new prime minister, Julien Nkoghe Bekale, shortly after the Jan. 7 coup attempt.

Bongo took power in the oil-rich Central African nation after the death of his father in 2009.


Associated Press writer Carley Petesch in Dakar, Senegal contributed.