The Prime Minister of Djibouti, Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed, has denied on September 14 the rumors circulated with increasing insistence in previous days, relating to a worsening of the health status of President Ismail Omar Guelleh.

According to some local press and rumors on social media, in fact, President Guelleh, 73 years old, would have been hospitalized between 12 and 13 September in a French clinic in Paris, without the government having issued any statement.

The Prime Minister thus publicly intervened when speaking to the press on September 14, confirming the President’s trip to Paris, although defining it as a private trip planned some time ago and dictated by the need to rest after a period of intense work.

According to the Prime Minister, moreover, political oppositions, with the intent to destabilize the government and fuel tensions, would have spread the news on the state of health of President Guelleh.

Also the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mahmoud Ali Youssuf intervened on the matter with a message sent by Twitter, supporting the private nature of the trip and minimizing the problems of the health conditions, considered good and only characterized by a general tiredness caused by the intense work of last summer.

In spite of the reassuring tones adopted by the institutional leaders, suspicions of a serious deterioration in President Guelleh’s health have spread rapidly in the capital Djibouti, fuelling numerous theories that are not, however, confirmed by the official local politics.

Fuelled above all by the political forces of opposition inside and outside the country, the news of the hospitalization of Ismail Omar Guelleh in Paris has been accompanied by numerous hypotheses related to his possible succession, accompanied by numerous names of possible candidates for an emergency management of the political transition.

President Guelleh finally returned to Djibouti on September 19, appearing in public at the airport during official greetings to local government authorities.

The president appeared tried but certainly not in critical condition, thus dispelling some of the rumors fueled in the previous days.

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