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Aid to Gabon suspended after military takeover

The U.S. suspended a majority of non-humanitarian military aid to Gabon Tuesday in the wake of a military takeover of the African country last month, according to The Associated Press.

In a statement, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the government is “pausing certain foreign assistance programs benefiting the government of Gabon” as it evaluates “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,” Blinken said. “We are continuing U.S. government operational activities in Gabon, including diplomatic and consular operations supporting U.S. citizens.”

The takeover was the second to occur in an African nation this year, following one in Niger that resulted in the U.S. suspending a portion of aid to its government earlier this year, according to The AP. The U.S. hasn’t formally decided if the occurrence in Niger was a coup yet. 

Gen. Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema, a head of an elite military unit, became the head of state in Gabon a week after the removal of President Ali Bongo Ondimba, The AP reported. Ondimba’s family had ruled over the Central African country for over five decades.

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