Moments ago, the U.S. State Department announced it would pause economic aid to Gabon following the August 30th coup d’état. The announcement reads below:
“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 U.S. government operational activities in Gabon, including diplomatic and consular operations supporting U.S. citizens.”
The United States, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), provided 97M USD to Gabon in 2021. Through special programs such as the Central African Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE), the U.S. is able to foster diplomacy aimed at maintaining Gabon’s vast rainforests. While the State Department did not specify which aid will be curtailed, this non-critical program will most likely be on the chopping block as opposed to security aid which could impact critical manganese and crude oil exports to the United States. It is important to note that the Arica Command (AFRICOM) of the U.S. Department of Defense also provides humanitarian aid to Gabon.
On August 30th, 2023, a coup d’état occurred in Gabon shortly after the announcement that incumbent president Ali Bongo Ondimba had won the general election held on 26 August. The coup ended the 56-year-long rule of the Bongo family over Gabon. Brigadier General Brice Oligui, commander of the Republican Guard, has since named himself as interim president and held President Bongo until September 6th, when he was released on medical ground. President Bongo returned to his villa in Libreville.