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Gabon: Video of Gabon’s Ailing President Raises More Questions Than It Answers



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President Ali Bongo Ondimba,

Gabon’s President Ali Bongo has for the first time, since his hospitalisation in Saudi Arabia closing month, gave the impression in two movies filmed in Rabat the place he’s proceeding remedy for an unknown sickness. Bongo met with Moroccan King Mohammed VI in addition to best government officials. However, his look continues to boost questions in regards to the state of his health.

“The head of state is aware, he recognises his representatives, he sees well, he talks well,” mentioned Prime Minister Emmanuel Issoze Ndonget after returning to Libreville following a gathering with Bongo in Rabat. “We were reassured and calmed coming out of this meeting,” he added.

Bongo gave the impression along King Mohammed in a video broadcast on Monday after which in any other with Gabonese government officials. But the Gabonese president is most effective proven from a profile view of his left facet, obscuring the best facet of his face, and neither video incorporates sound.

Attention has additionally been drawn to a couple peculiarities of the 40-second video with Bongo sitting along King Mohammed. At the beginning of the video a desk is visual to the best facet of the Moroccan King, but seconds later the desk has disappeared, prompting hypothesis about how the video used to be edited.

Disappearing furnishings

These oddities have raised considerations about whether or not the movies in point of fact supply an infallible proof-of-life for the Gabonese president or if the movies try to disguise positive lasting results of the Bongo’s sickness.

“The stroke may have given him a horrible facial disfigurement, like half his face paralyzed, or he may just look dodgy,” mentioned Douglas Yates, a Gabon professional on the American Graduate School in Paris.

“I think the fact his illness hasn’t been revealed is in itself very revealing,” added Yates, co-author of the Historical Dictionary of Gabon.

The government delegation have been comfy upon their go back to Gabon, in line with Libreville correspondent Yves-Laurent Goma. They invoked a biblical connection with the state of Bongo’s health.

“Go up and down to proclaim the good news, tell the people the president is doing well,” mentioned Vice President Pierre-Claver Maganga Moussavou. “We’ve seen it, we’ve touched him and can say this isn’t an opportunity to talk about a vacuum. He’s sick, everybody can be sick.”

Gabon’s opposition has accused the government of peddling a “lie” over Bongo’s health and a few have known as for opposition chief Jean Ping to think the presidency. Ping rejected the results of the 2016 election, which used to be mired via claims of voter fraud. The polls passed Bongo a second term in workplace additional extending his circle of relatives’s rule over the rustic.

“I think the opposition is hoping that this will open the door to a new presidential election, and it will, if he is truly declared unfit,” mentioned Yates,

Bongo’s switch for additional remedy in Rabat used to be met with consternation via some critics and commentators, pointing to the rustic’s oil wealth and deficient building of public services and products such as healthcare.

“The reason he is not receiving treatment in Gabon itself is because he knows better than anybody else that his family has stolen billions of dollars and failed to build a hospital good enough,” mentioned Yates.

The 59-year-old president fell in poor health on 24 October all the way through a convention in Saudi Arabia and spent one month in Riyadh receiving remedy before being transferred to Morocco. It has been broadly reported that he suffered a strike, despite the fact that this has now not been formally showed.

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