Gabonese President Ali Bongo Appears in Video After Absence

(Bloomberg) -- Gabon’s President Ali Bongo appeared in a video released by the Presidency on Monday, sitting alongside Moroccan King Mohammed VI, more than a month after being admitted to a hospital in Saudi-Arabia.

Bongo, 59, has not been seen in public since being admitted to hospital while attending an investment conference in Riyadh on October 24. His government initially attributed his admission to “severe fatigue,” before saying two weeks later that Bongo was recovering some functions after falling “seriously ill.” Reuters, citing one diplomatic source, said Bongo suffered a stroke.

Last week, Bongo’s wife said he would continue his recovery in Morocco “to regain full physical abilities.”

In Monday’s short clip, Bongo is seen dressed in a white and blue robe, talking briefly with King Mohammed while drinking what appears to be milk. The video has no sound.

Bongo expressed his thanks to King Mohammed for the welcome he received in Morocco while the two leaders “ also exchanged on several topics of mutual interest,” the Presidency said in an accompanying statement, which didn’t elaborate on his condition.

The Bongo family has ruled the oil-producing nation for over four decades. Bongo has been president since 2009 when he succeeded his father, Omar Bongo. Earlier in November, Gabon’s top court ruled that the vice president could preside over the cabinet in Bongo’s absence.

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