President Omar Bongo Ondimba returned the eve of Morocco, where he stayed for over a month, Thursday chaired a Council of Ministers devoted mainly to the campaign against them in France.
The spokesman for the Gabonese government, René Ndemezo’Obiang, read Friday on national television the Government’s statement strongly denounced the "despicable campaign of slander and insults orchestrated by the French public and private, against person of His Excellency Omar Bongo Ondimba, President of the Republic, Head of State "
According to the final communiqué of the Council of Ministers, "the Gabonese people can not" continue to tolerate the first of his country to be dragged through the mud. "
The Board has invited "the authors accomplices in these acts, as well as the competent French authorities to put an end to these acts whose persistence could lead to a serious deterioration of the historical ties between France and Gabon.
Gabon president’s accounts have been frozen and his relations with Paris have deteriorated in recent years . The move comes after a Bordeaux court ordered President Bongo to return a payment made to him to release a jailed French businessman, Rene Cardona.
Mr Bongo, Africa’s longest-serving leader, is thought to have more than $4m (£2.8m) in French bank accounts. Mr Cardona was freed after his son paid more than $580,000 (£400,000) into 72-year-old Mr Bongo’s account, a court heard.
In September, a court ruled that payment had been illegal. Rene Cardona was imprisoned in 1996 after a business dispute with Mr Bongo, to whom he had sold a shipping and fishing firm. Mr Bongo has been a close associate of a string of French leaders but his relations with Paris have deteriorated in recent years.
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