US halts Gabon aid after military takeover

Wednesday September 27 2023

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaking during a press conference. PHOTO | AFP


The United States said Tuesday it would halt assistance to Gabon after the military took charge last month.

"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.

He said that the United States was maintaining diplomatic and consular operations in the oil-rich country.

The move is temporary as the State Department considers a formal determination that Gabon experienced a military coup, which under US law would snap off assistance.

Read: US urges Gabon military to 'preserve civilian rule'

US officials have previously said that US assistance was minimal to Gabon, run by the Bongo family for more than half a century.


Washington has a larger presence in both security and economic assistance in Niger, another African nation where the military recently took power.

Gabonese military leaders on August 30 overthrew Ali Bongo Ondimba just as he was proclaimed the winner of an election widely criticized for irregularities.

Read: Gabon soldiers say election result cancelled, 'regime' ended

The military installed as prime minister the opposition leader, Raymond Ndong Sima, who in an address to the United Nations last week promised to take steps to hold new elections and called on the West not to condemn the coup "without nuance".