By John Ikani
Ali Bongo, formerly under house arrest, has been set free by the military junta in Gabon.
The development comes eight days after his ousting as president.
In addition to Bongo’s release, the new military leadership in Gabon has granted him permission to depart the nation for medical treatment.
Bongo was deposed on the same day that election authorities declared him re-elected for a third term in office.
On Monday, Brice Nguema, an army general who orchestrated the coup, was sworn in as the interim president.
It’s worth noting that Nguema is a cousin of Bongo and previously served as a bodyguard to Bongo’s late father.
He also led the country’s elite military unit, the republican guard.
The official announcement concerning Bongo’s release from house arrest was signed by Nguema himself.
Ulrich Manfoumbi, the military spokesperson, conveyed on national television on Wednesday evening that, “Given his state of health, the former President of the Republic Ali Bongo Ondimba is free to move about. He may, if he wishes, travel abroad for medical checkups.”
Bongo ascended to the presidency following the death of his father, Omar, who ruled from 1967 to 2009.
The military leadership, however, has not yet outlined a transition plan towards civilian governance.