By John Ikani
The United States is discontinuing its support to Gabon in response to the recent coup that occurred last month.
“We are pausing specific foreign aid programs benefiting the government of Gabon as we assess the unconstitutional intervention by elements of the country’s military,” stated US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
The action aligns with measures taken by the Central African bloc, the African Union (AU), and other international partners in the aftermath of the coup. Gabon’s membership in the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the AU has been suspended as a result of the coup.
The decision to withhold aid to Gabon will persist “as we evaluate the situation on the ground,” according to the State Department.
It however noted that ongoing operations in the country, including diplomatic and consular efforts to assist US citizens, continue unaffected.
On August 30, Gabonese military leaders toppled President Ali Bongo shortly after his victory in an election had been declared.
President Bongo had held office since 2009, succeeding his father, Omar Bongo, who initially assumed the presidency in 1967.
While Gabon’s junta has pledged to organize free and fair elections, they have not yet established a specific timeline.
A new prime minister, appointed by the junta, informed the BBC earlier this month that fresh elections would take place within the next two years.