US suspends aid to Gabon
Most non-humanitarian US aid to Gabon will be halted the administration of President Joe Biden said in a statement on Tuesday. The move comes in the wake of a coup last month in which the country's military assumed power.
“The US government is pausing certain foreign assistance programs benefiting the government of Gabon while we evaluate the unconstitutional intervention by members of the country’s military,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
“This interim measure is consistent with steps taken by the Economic Community of Central African States, the African Union, and other international partners, and will continue while we review the facts on the ground in Gabon,” Blinken said. “We are continuing US government operational activities in Gabon, including diplomatic and consular operations supporting US citizens.”
The statement did not provide any details about which US-funded programs would be affected or how much money would be put on hold.
The move is temporary as the US is awaiting a review of the circumstances that led to the ouster of Gabon’s former president, Ali Bongo Ondimba.
Bongo’s presidential election victory was widely criticized for alleged irregularities, and Gabonese military leaders overthrew him on August 30.
The Bongo family had been running Gabon for more than half a century, and US officials have previously stated that US assistance was minimal.
Opposition leader Raymond Ndong Sima, who promised to hold new elections in an address to the UN last week, was installed as prime minister by the military.
Gabon is the second African country to experience a military takeover after Niger’s government was overthrown earlier this year. Although the US has suspended some aid to Niger, it has not yet determined if the incident should be considered a coup.