Gabon's Bongo to visit France to repair ties (Africa Review)

September 11, 2015

Gabon’s president, Ali Bongo Ondimba, will travel to France on September 14 at a time diplomatic relations have been strained following the arrest and detention at a Paris airport of the president’s chief of staff, Maixent Accrombessi, over corruption claims last August 3.

Though the aide was released hours after his arrest, news of the arrest ignited anger in Gabon. A presidential statement ‘strongly protested’ the arrest, saying it violated the fundamental principles of international law.

President Bongo’s upcoming tour to France is being described as a “working and friendly visit.”

His talks with President Francois Hollande at the Elysee Palace will cover bilateral relations as well as the troubled Central African Republic, the Boko Haram menace in West Africa and the upcoming Cop 21 climate change summit.

President Bongo Ondimba is the current chairman of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa, CEMAC. The bloc is made up of six: Cameroon, Chad, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, and the Republic of Congo.

French prime minister Manuel Valls on his part will lead a business delegation to Gabon before the end of the year.

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