A Gabonese opposition party accused the government on Tuesday of peddling a “lie” about the health of President Ali Bongo after his admission to hospital in Saudi Arabia nearly three weeks ago. “A group of people within the president’s office has opted for evasiveness, duplicity and even [for telling] a state lie,” the National Union party said. Bongo, 59, was taken to hospital in Riyadh on October 24 after he arrived to attend an economic forum. Four days later, his spokesperson, Ike Ngouoni, said the president had been admitted for “severe fatigue”. But last Sunday, Ngouoni acknowledged that Bongo had been treated for a serious illness. Following discomfort and “persistent vertigo … first tests revealed bleeding which justified medical surgical care in a highly specialised sector”, Ngouoni said, quoting a medical bulletin from doctors treating Bongo. Bongo’s condition has now “greatly improved” and he is “recovering most of his functions”, Ngouoni said. The National Union said the...

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