Published on 16 January 2015

The explosive inheritance of the late Omar Bongo

The explosive inheritance of the late Omar Bongo

Large families are not always happy ones in Gabon. As with Félix Houphouët-Boigny in Ivory Coast, the death of Omar Bongo in 2009 sparked off a pitched battle among his offspring. That battle is still very much alive, as this new West Africa Newsletter special report shows.

The former head of state officially recognised 52 children but the tensions principally concern his oldest daughter, Pascaline, and her brother, Ali Bongo. Pascaline, former head of her father's private office at the presidency, is the executor of his will and continues to manage his affairs in close collaboration with her Bordeaux lawyer and friend, Danyèle Palazo-Gauthier. The current head of state is not happy about this state of affairs and, in the battle for Bongo senior's huge fortune, with its properties and shareholdings, no holds are barred.

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