Gabon's President Ali Bongo, hospitalised in Saudi Arabia on October 24, is seriously ill but on the mend, the presidency said Sunday.
The 59-year-old leader's condition "has greatly improved" and he is in the process "of recovering most of his functions", Ike Ngouoni, the spokesman for the presidency, said.
Lack of official news -- along with memories of the secrecy-shrouded death of Bongo's father Omar Bongo in office in 2009 after decades at the helm -- has set the rumour mill churning about his health.
A foreign source close to Bongo and his French-born wife Sylvia told AFP on Wednesday that Bongo had had a stroke.
Bongo served as foreign and defence minister during his father's rule, and after his death was elected head of state in August 2009.
He was narrowly re-elected in 2016 following a presidential poll marred by deadly violence and allegations of fraud.