Gabon’s former president, Ali Bongo Ondimba, who was thrown out of power in a coup on August 30, 2023, has been granted the liberty to move out of the country and travel abroad if he wishes to do so.
This was revealed by the leader of the coup that toppled him on Wednesday, September 6, 2023, who said that he is a free man to travel out of the oil-producing country.
“He has freedom of movement… and can travel abroad if he wishes,” General Brice Oligui Nguema said in a statement read on state television.
Bongo, who had been in power for 14 years, had been under house arrest since the military coup of August 30, 2023, that was carried out without bloodshed less than an hour after his party announced his re-election in a vote described as fraudulent by the group that overthrew him.
“Given his state of health, the former President of the Republic, Ali Bongo Ondimba, has freedom of movement. He can travel abroad if he wishes to carry out his medical checks,” Colonel Ulrich Manfoumbi Manfoumbi read a press release signed by Oligui, who took his oath as transitional president on Monday, September 4, 2023.
Bongo suffered a serious stroke in October 2018, which left him physically impaired, with particular difficulty moving his right leg and arm while on an official visit to Saudi Arabia. The illness kept him out of office for almost 10 months. During this time, he was treated in Morocco.
After losing power in a coup on August 30, Ali Bongo was kept under house arrest, and nothing much has been heard from him since then.
There have been nine coups in the past three years in the former French colonies of Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, Tunisia, and Gabon.