The presidency denies reports that Bongo had been hospitalized and said that he was simply undergoing normal checkups while spending time at his home in London. Bongo’s office added that the leader will soon return to the country.
In March this year, Bongo returned to Gabon after spending several months in Morocco recovering from illness.
Before then, Bongo had only been briefly back to Gabon on two occasions since suffering a stroke in October 2018 during a visit to Saudi Arabia while attending an economic forum in Saudi Arabia.
Civil society groups and activists have since petitioned the courts to have Bongo medically examined to ascertain whether he is still able to lead the country. However, court hearings on the petitions have been adjourned twice.
An attempted coup by renegade soldiers in January came as a result of Bongo’s continued absence which sparked concerns about a possible power vacuum and his ability to lead the country.