US Spent Millions On Defense Training, Climate Initiatives For Latest African Country To Suffer Military Coup

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The United States has invested millions of dollars in foreign assistance to an African country whose military staged a successful coup against the sitting president on Wednesday.

The U.S. has sent roughly $100 million in direct foreign assistance to Gabon, a country located in the Sahel region of Africa, since 2001, according to A number of Gabon’s military forces arrested President Ali Bongo Ondimba in a successful coup that sought to overturn the results of a highly contentious election on Wednesday.

Approximately $10 million of the direct foreign aid was purposed for the promotion of stability and peace in the region, according to These initiatives primarily focused on military education and training and anti-terrorism programs, and are backed by the Department of Defense and the State Department. (RELATED: US Spent Years Funding And Training The African Military That Just Overthrew Its US-Backed Gov’t)

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is also involved in Gabon and has worked to promote climate change initiatives through the Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE), according to USAID. CARPE operates in six countries in central Africa and aims to promote “sustainable forest management, biodiversity conservation, and climate change mitigation in the Congo Basin through increased local, national, and regional natural resource management capacity.”

CARPE has also worked to “build inclusive markets, improve law enforcement, support civil society’s role in environmental monitoring and advocacy, and strengthen land use management,” according to the State Department. The USAID has spent $600 million on CARPE initiatives since 2005.

The USAID helps Gabon regulate its carbon emissions through the SilvaCarbon program, which “strengthens the technical capacity of government partners for measuring, monitoring, and reporting on forest and terrestrial carbon,” according to USAID. Additionally, Gabon has separately received approximately $42 million in direct foreign aid to improve and protect its national parks service, according to

The U.S. has considered Gabon a formal ally since 1960, following the country’s separation from France, and “applauds” its efforts “to root out corruption and reform the judiciary,” according to the State Department. Days before Gabon’s presidential election, the Biden administration encouraged the country’s citizens to vote and reaffirmed that elections “are a fundamental part of democracy,” according to a statement from State Department spokesman Matthew Miller.

Minutes after Gabon’s election results were announced on Wednesday, gunfire could be heard in the country’s capital. Shortly after a dozen soldiers appeared on state television and announced they had arrested President Ali Bongo Ondimba, in an effort to overturn the election and seize power in the region. Citizens took to the streets and celebrated the soldiers who initiated the coup.

Ondimba was arrested for “high betrayal of state institutions, massive embezzlement of public funds [and] international financial embezzlement,” according to the soldiers, who also declared on Wednesday that they would “dissolve all institutions of the republic.”

Gabon is the second African country to fall under a military coup regime within roughly a month. In Niger, military forces and the country’s elite presidential guard overthrew and arrested democratically-elected President Mohamed Bazoum in late July.

The Niger general who spearheaded the coup against Bazoum previously studied at the College of International Security Affairs (CISA) in Washington D.C. The U.S. has spent $500 million on training and arming Niger’s troops since 2012.

The State Department did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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