The United States has completely halted its aid to Gabon in response to the August 30th coup in the Central African nation. However, the U.S. expressed its readiness to reinstate aid if there are democratic advancements in the country.
Washington had already partially suspended its foreign assistance at the end of September, but this formal declaration that a coup had occurred requires the cessation of all non-humanitarian aid under U.S. law.
“We will resume it as concrete actions toward establishing a democratic regime by the transitional government progress,” stated Matthew Miller, the spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, in a press release. “The United States supports the Gabonese people in their democratic aspirations, prosperity, and stability,” he added.
On August 30th, the Gabonese military ousted President Ali Bongo Ondimba, who had been in power for 14 years. The international community widely criticized this coup, as he had been declared the victor in a presidential election marred by significant irregularities.
Unlike some other countries, like Niger, which also experienced a coup in late July, Gabon received minimal U.S. aid. The newly appointed Gabonese Prime Minister, Raymond Ndong Sima, called for distinguishing between coups. He argued that military intervention in Gabon was a “lesser evil” aimed at preventing further electoral fraud and potential violence. This position was stated during his address at the United Nations in September.