The US State Department has frozen $700 million in aid to Sudan, after the country’s military staged a coup and arrested the civilian government. A spokesman said the US is willing to use “all measures” to resolve the crisis.
“The United States is pausing assistance from the $700 million in emergency assistance appropriations of economic support funds for Sudan,”Ned Price, a spokesperson for the State Department, told reporters Monday that no aid money has been transferred to date.
After months of protests and civil unrest, Omar Bashir, Sudan’s longtime leader was forced from office in 2019, the funding was meant to aid Sudan in its transition to democracy.
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‘Return to dialogue’: Intl community demands release of Sudan’s PM detained during military coup in wake of internal unrest
However, that transition was thrown into disarray on Monday when the country’s military arrested Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other ministers in pre-dawn raids, and military officer Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan – who had been charged with overseeing a four-year shift to civilian rule – dissolved the government and announced that the military alone would take charge of the remainder of the transition.
Price told reporters that US officials had not been forewarned about the coup, and that he could not provide any information on Hamdok’s whereabouts or condition. Price urged the Sudanese military and threatened that they would not release any of the officials being held. “willing to resort to any and all appropriate measures to hold accountable those who may be attempting to derail the will and the aspirations of the Sudanese people.”
Price was not specific about these. “measures”He did repeatedly mention the “peaceful protests”As a way to put pressure on the military, there was a demonstration taking place in Sudan. Shortly after Price’s briefing, a gathering of Sudanese civil and political groups calling themselves the ‘Forces of Freedom and Change’ called for mass civil disobedience and promised to fill the streets with protesters and overthrow the military junta.
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Price’s condemnations have been echoed by other states. Other states have condemned Price’s condemnations, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, both of which are neighbors. Britain was once the Sudanese colony. “an unacceptable betrayal of the Sudanese people and their democratic transition.”The UN also stated this. “all parties must immediately return to dialogue and engage in good faith to restore the constitutional order.”
Since 2019, tension between civil and military leaders has been simmering in Sudan. As Price and the US’ allies condemned the military coup, protests in Sudan were reportedly met with force. According to Reuters, at least 3 people were killed and 80 others injured by shots fired from soldiers. This was according to the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors.
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