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Gabon’s ousted president Bongo ‘free to go abroad’

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Gabon’s ousted president Bongo ‘free to go abroad’

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Gabon’s former president, Ali Bongo, who was ousted in a putsch, is free to leave the country and travel abroad, the leader of the coup that toppled him said on Wednesday.

“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, in power for 14 years, had been under house arrest since the military coup of August 30, carried out without bloodshed less than an hour after his party proclaimed his re-election in a vote described as fraudulent by the putschists.

“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 said, reading a press release signed by Oligui who took his oath as transitional president on Monday.

Bongo suffered a serious stroke in October 2018 which left him physically impaired, with particular difficulty moving his right leg and arm.