On Tuesday, the Biden administration suspended certain non-humanitarian aid to Gabon in response to a recent military takeover in the country according to a report from Reuters.
This marked the second such incident in an African nation this year.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken made the announcement, stating that there would be a “pause in certain foreign assistance programs” to Gabon.
This suspension is pending a thorough review of the circumstances surrounding the removal of Gabon’s former leader, President Ali Bongo Ondimba.
Blinken clarified that this suspension would not impact US government operations in Gabon, particularly in the oil-rich central African nation.
However, the statement did not provide details regarding which specific US-funded programs would be affected or the amount of funding that would be temporarily withheld.
The statement read,
- “The U.S. 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,”
- “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,”
- “We are continuing US government operational activities in Gabon, including diplomatic and consular operations supporting US citizens.”
On August 30, military officers in Gabon took control of the government, declaring the nullification of election results just minutes after an announcement that President Ali Bongo had secured victory, citing concerns about the credibility of the election. Bongo has held power since 2009.
The junta, which assumed power, has pledged to oversee the organization of free and fair elections. However, they have not provided a specific timeline for the election process.
Junta-appointed Prime Minister Raymond Ndong Sima was quoted by the French news agency AFP earlier this month, expressing that a 24-month transition period leading to elections in Gabon would be considered “reasonable” in the aftermath of last month’s coup.