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Baby held for months over unpaid bill

BBC News logo BBC News 2/13/2018
Five-month old Angel has been reunited with her mother. © BBC Five-month old Angel has been reunited with her mother.

A private clinic in Gabon in Central Africa has freed a five-month-old baby it had detained since birth because her mother had been unable to pay her medical bills.

Baby Angel's mother told the BBC she was relieved to be reunited with her child, in a case that saw her gain much public support.

A campaign was launched to help the family pay the bill of 2 million CFA ($3,630; £2,610). President Ali Bongo was among those who contributed towards the bill.

The clinic's director was arrested on Monday on baby-kidnapping charges, but the charges were dropped a day later, reports BBC Afrique's Charles Stephan Mavoungou from the capital, Libreville. 

The baby's mother, Sonia Okome, told the BBC the reunion with her child was bittersweet: "I'm happy to have my baby back. But I'm sorry that I can't breastfeed her because after five months all my milk has gone."

She also complained that the baby had not been given any vaccines.

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