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Gabon’s President Bongo back home a week after the failed coup

ABUJA, Nigeria –Merely after a week when an attempted coup against his government failed, Gabon’s President Ali Bongo has returned to his country.

President Bongo had been in Morocco, where he was seeking medical treatment after reportedly suffering a stroke in October 2018 while visiting Saudi Arabia.

Bongo returned in the early hours of Tuesday ahead of a ceremony where a new cabinet was sworn in.

The appointment of new ministers is seen as an attempt to boost the chances of the president remaining in power.

Ali Bongo succeeded his late father Omar Bongo as president in 2009. He scarcely won re-election in 2016 in a poll stained by violence and accusations of fraud.

A group of soldiers last week announced that they had seized control of the government and had urged citizens to join them in the streets.

The failed coup and attempt to take power were short-lived as forces loyal to the president swiftly overpowered the renegade soldiers, killed some and arrested the others.

Between President Ali Bongo and his father, the Bongo family have been in power in Gabon for more than half a century.

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Dave Okonjie

Dave Okonjie is a public affairs analyst, researcher and senior issues correspondent.

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