Gabon junta grants ousted President freedom of movement over health concerns

Gabon’s ousted President, Ali Bongo, is “free to move about” and pursue medical treatment abroad, military leaders said on Wednesday.

Bongo has been detained at his official residence since he was overthrown by his presidential guard on August 30, ending his family’s 56 year rule over the oil-producing central African nation.

Coup leader General Brice Oligui Nguema was sworn in as interim president and cheered by jubilant supporters on Monday in a televised ceremony designed to cast the military as liberators of an oppressed society.

Gabon’s coup – the eighth in West and Central Africa in three years – has raised concerns about a contagion of military takeovers across the region that have erased democratic progress made in the last two decades.

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