US cuts $ 700 million in aid to Sudan in military coup

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Top line

The United States cut $ 700 million in emergency aid to Sudan on Monday, hours after military officials arrested civilian leaders in the Sudanese government, shot protesters and jeopardized the country’s nascent transition to democracy.

Highlights

The State Department is suspending $ 700 million in direct “economic support” funding to the Sudanese government, State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters on Monday.

Price said the payments – which Congress approved in a budget bill last year – were “intended to support the country’s democratic transition,” and none have yet been distributed to the Sudanese government.

Price urged Sudanese military leaders to release all arrested civilian politicians, stop fighting back violently against protesters and re-establish a transitional government founded after Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir resigned two years ago.

Large number

$ 423 million. This is the aid that the United States committed to Sudan in fiscal year 2021, according to the United States Agency for International Development. The vast majority of this aid was intended for humanitarian purposes, including emergency food aid.

Key context

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdulla Hamdok, his wife and several members of his government were arrested Monday by the country’s army, according to several reports. Military officials declared a state of emergency and suspended the country’s civilian-led government, and troops reportedly opened fire on protesters, killing several. The apparent military takeover jeopardizes a years-long transition to a civilian-led democracy that began after Al-Bashir – whose 30-year reign was marked by starvation and alleged crimes of war in the Darfur region – was ousted from power by his own leader. military in 2019. Shortly after al-Bashir’s ouster, the military formed a transitional government with civilian leaders and promised to hold elections, but the arrangement faced months of tension. between military and civilian factions, fueled in part by frustration over the government’s response to catastrophic economic conditions in one of the world’s poorest countries, The Associated Press and New York Times Remark.

Surprising fact

The US government is legally bound to cut foreign aid to countries where the military seizes power from an elected leader. Sudan is already under restrictions based on the coup d’état on foreign aid, dating back to al-Bashir’s seizure of power in 1989, Price said. This rule has occasionally sparked controversy: When Egypt came under military control in 2013, the Obama administration initially did not describe it as a coup, although authorities later suspended a some military aid to Egypt, which is one of the world’s largest beneficiaries of the US military. assistance.

Further reading

Sudanese PM detained, protesters killed in military coup (Forbes)


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