Last Updated on March 24, 2006 by Paulette Brown-Hinds
CONAKRY, Mar 20 (GIN) – Guinean President Lansana Conte made an unscheduled “private trip” to Switzerland this weekend where the chronic diabetic who is in his 60s will seek some medical attention, said aides. Cameroonian President Paul Biya also fell ill this week but is said to be fully recovered.
Conte has ruled Guinea for more than two decades and with no heir apparent, analysts warn of possible instability or of a military takeover bid on his demise. Diplomats describe his style of governance as hands-on and very personal but critics claim he has failed to exploit the countrys natural wealth, including bauxite and iron ore, for the benefit of the population.
Meanwhile, Cameroon's 73 year old President Paul Biya returned home this past weekend after suffering a brief malaise, saying: “We came out of danger”.
Biya, who has been in office for more than two decades, returned from a summit of central African leaders and told reporters that: “I had a serious gastroenteritis to the point where I could not take part in the deliberations.”
Biya said other participants at the summit of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa had suffered the same problem. “I cannot say more. What we ate is not important,” he said. “I think we're truly okay.”
It was the first time Biya has been declared ill since taking office in 1982.