US Pauses Delivery of $700 Million in Emergency Economic Aid to Sudan
23:48 GMT 25.10.2021 (Updated: 00:58 GMT 26.10.2021)
The United States has condemned the actions of the Sudanese Military after they arrested civilian government officials and other political leaders Sunday night in a military coup. As a result, the US is pausing the delivery of $700 million in aid to the country.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement, "The United States strongly condemns the actions of the Sudanese military forces."
He added, "We firmly reject the dissolution of the civilian-led transitional government and its associated institutions and call for their immediate restoration."
Ned Price, the US State Department Spokesperson, also delivered a statement on the Sudanese military takeover that halted the country's transition to a democratic civilian-led state.
Price said, "The civilian-led transitional government should be immediately restored. It represents the will of the Sudanese people, as evidenced by the significant peaceful demonstrations of support on October 21st."
The Sudanese military has arrested civilian government officials and political leaders, including Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. The US in an attempt to coax the military to release all civilian government officials, refrain from violence in the event of protests, and restore the civilian-led transitional government has decided to pause funds headed to the East African nation.
According to Price, the US's first response has been to pause "$700 million in emergency assistance appropriations of Economic Support Funds for Sudan. Those funds were intended to support the country’s democratic transition."
Protesters quickly took to the streets in defiance of the military coup and to show their support for the civilian government.
Sudan had been ruled by an interim civilian-military government, called the Sovereign Council, since 2019. The military had ousted Omar al-Bashir following months of protest against his rule. Sudan had been trending towards a democratic civilian government following al-Bashir's ousting.
In recent weeks, negotiations between the military and the civilian-led government had soured and mass protests occurred on Thursday, October 21st demanding full civilian rule. Sudan's Prime Minister had said that full civilian rule should be in place by November 17th.
The coup appears to be an attempt by the Sudanese military to prevent full civilian rule. It remains to be seen if another power-sharing arrangement can be struck.