November 30, 2023

US suspends aids to Gabon following military takeover

Gabon coup leader General Brice Oligui Nguema is sworn in as interim president during his swearing-in ceremony, in Libreville, Gabon, September 4, 2023. REUTERS/Stringer NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

The US government has announced its plan to suspend aid to Gabon following the removal of President Ali Bongo in a military coup.

“We are pausing certain foreign assistance programs that benefit the government of Gabon while we evaluate the unconstitutional intervention by members of the country’s military,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

The US government noted that the temporary move was in tandem with similar actions taken by the regional Central African bloc, the African Union (AU) and other global partners following the coup.

Recall that Gabon’s membership of the Economic Community of Central African States (Eccas) and the AU was suspended after Ali Bongo was kicked out of office by top military officials in the country.

The decision to suspend aid to Gabon will remain “while we review the facts on the ground”, the State Department said.

The statement added that diplomatic and consular operations to support US citizens will not be affected by the decision.

Gabonese military leaders deposed President Ali Bongo on August 30, barely hours after he was declared the winner of an election.

President Bongo has ruled since 2009. He replaced his father, Omar Bongo, who was elected president for the first time in 1967.

Gabon’s junta has promised to hold free and fair elections in the next two years, but no date has been announced.

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