Ailing Gabon president returns to Morocco for rehabilitation

Gabon's ailing president returns to Morocco for rehabilitation after brief visit home

LIBREVILLE, Gabon -- Gabon's ailing President Ali Bongo Ondimba has returned to Morocco to continue his recovery after a brief visit home, an official and a relative said Thursday.

The relative said Bongo returned to Morocco late Tuesday after swearing in a new government. A Cabinet member confirmed it. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

The Cabinet member said Bongo's recovery from a reported stroke has been strong.

Bongo had been out of the country since October, and his brief return came a week after a Jan. 7 attempted coup by officers with the Republican Guard.

The opposition has expressed concern about Bongo's ability to lead the oil-rich Central African nation and has asked that a vacancy of power be declared.

Omar Bongo, the president's father, led Gabon for 41 years and died in 2009. His son succeeded him after a disputed election and was re-elected in 2016 for a renewable seven-year term.


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