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Gabon, France diplomatic rift over seized presidential plane

A Gabon presidential plane, Boeing 777, seized by French authorities on 25 February on request of a Swiss company is taking a nasty turn and risks souring relations between France and his former colony.

Gabon owes 4 million FCFA (about US$2 million) to the Swiss company, and the money has not been paid despite several requests of the company.

French ambassador to Gabon Dominique Renoux was this week summoned to the Gabon Foreign Affairs ministry to provide some explaining, while the Central African nation has recalled its ambassador to France, Germain Ngoyo Mossavou, for consultation until further notice.

Gabon and France have always been great friends since the rule of Gabonese late dictator Omar Bongo, but their relations seem to have soured over many issues since his son Ali Bongo took over from his father, who ruled Gabon for four decades.

Some observers in the capital Libreville believe that the investigation by French justice of the Bongo family’s fortune has not gone down well with the Bongo clan, who accuses France of treason and abuse of trust.

There is a problem of Bongo’s son true nationality revealed by a bookj written by a France’s Pierre Pean.

Pean claims in his book that Ali is a Nigerian who was adopted by this late father in the early seventies in Nigeria.

And Gabon sources claim that Pean’s book was supported and endorsed by the French government to discredit the current president.

Affaire à suivre!

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