Libreville, Oct 24 (EFE).- The United States said Tuesday that it was officially suspending its foreign assistance to the Gabonese military junta over the Aug. 30 coup and added that the aid would resume if the transitional government took concrete steps to restore democracy.
“The United States has concluded that a military coup d’état has taken place in Gabon…(and) is suspending most US assistance to the Government of Gabon,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement.
“We underscore that our humanitarian, health, and education assistance will continue to benefit the people of Gabon,” he added.
Miller emphasized Washington’s commitment to supporting Gabon in achieving a timely and durable transition to democratic civilian governance and advancing shared security interests in the country.
“The United States stands with the Gabonese people in their aspirations for democracy, prosperity, and stability,” he said.
“We will resume our assistance alongside concrete actions by the transitional government toward establishing democratic rule,” he added.
The military junta seized control of Gabon on Aug. 30, shortly after the country’s electoral bodies declared the victory of ousted president Ali Bongo in a controversial election, tainted by widespread allegations of fraud.
Labeling the elections as fraudulent, the coup leaders dissolved the country’s institutions, annulled the election results, and established a transitional administration with a promise to restore democracy, and hold transparent elections after implementing the necessary reforms.
The military placed the ousted president under house arrest, accusing him of treason, embezzlement of public funds, and corruption, among other charges, before releasing him on Oct. 6 for health reasons.
The Bongo family had been in power since 1967, with Ali Bongo seeking a third term in office after becoming president in 2009, following the death of his father, Omar Bongo, who had ruled the country for nearly 40 years. EFE