Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Malbouffe: understanding junk food à la française

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Lebanon repeals 'rape law', but activists say more is needed to protect women

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US business leaders abandon Trump after Charlottesville

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Why do French people smoke so much?'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trump's 'unprecedented transgression'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Kenya’s opposition leader to take poll dispute to Supreme Court

Read more

THE DEBATE

US racial tensions: How far should freedom of speech be stretched?

Read more

THE DEBATE

Burkina Faso attack: How to restore security in the Sahel region?

Read more

THE DEBATE

India and Pakistan mark 70 years of independence: Can the two countries ever reconcile?

Read more

Africa

Gabonese president Bongo in first Paris trip since election

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-11-20

Gabon's President Ali Bongo was in France on Wednesday for his first trip since succeeding his father, who was France's closest ally in Africa and the key figure in a rather dubious network of trade and political ties known as "FranceAfrique".

AFP - Gabon's President Ali Bongo was expected in France on Wednesday for his first trip since he succeeded his father, who made Paris almost a second home as leader of the oil-rich former French colony.
  
Bongo's trip comes less than three weeks after French judges threw out a lawsuit alleging that, under his late father, members of his family bought several luxury Paris properties with embezzled Gabonese public funds.
  
The elder Bongo, Omar Bongo Ondimba, was France's closest ally in Africa throughout his 41-year reign and the key figure in the murky network of trade and political ties known to anti-corruption activists as "FranceAfrique".
  
But the attempt by graft watchdog Transparency International to bring a case against three African presidents for their allegedly ill-gotten gains caused Bongo senior to temper his affection for Paris in his final years.
  
He died in Spain in June, and his son and former defence minister Ali Bongo took over after an election that opposition leaders claimed was marred by fraud and French interference. Paris denies it influenced the vote.
  
Now that judges have refused to pursue the complaint, observers say, Bongo junior is ready to resume business as usual with his French allies and is due in Paris for a three-day visit and talks with President Nicolas Sarkozy.
  
Bongo is expected to have lunch with Sarkozy on Friday.

Date created : 2009-11-18

COMMENT(S)