The US Halts $700 Million in Aid to Sudan Amid Military Coup

The U.S. State Department on Monday paused $700 million in emergency aid to Sudan that was intended to support the country’s democratic transition after members of Sudan’s military ousted the civilian-led transitional government.

State Department Spokesman Ned Price said during a press briefing that “the civilian-led transitional government should be immediately restored and represents the will of the people,” “In light of these developments, the United States is pausing assistance from the $700 million in emergency assistance appropriations of economic support funds for Sudan.”

Price told reporters that the sum was appropriated by Congress to support Sudan’s democratic transition after the ouster of long-ruling autocrat Omar al-Bashir in a popular uprising two years ago. He added that none of the $700 million had been transferred and so the entire sum had been suspended.

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“We are pausing that full amount,” Price said, adding that further aid could be at risk if military leaders do not restore the civilian government.

“We are very much standing with the people of Sudan,” he continued. “The people of Sudan have made clear their aspirations for the continuation of transition to democracy and we will continue to support that including, if needed, by holding accountable those responsible for these anti-democratic actions.”

He also called on militants to “refrain from any violence against protesters,” as reports emerged seven people were killed by gunfire and 140 injured in clashes between soldiers and street protesters.

The head of Sudan’s ruling council, Gen. Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman al-Burhan, announced a countrywide state of emergency on Oct. 25 and dissolved the military-civilian Sovereign Council that had been established to guide the country to democracy following the overthrow of al-Bashir, who ruled the country for nearly 30 years.

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In announcing the state of emergency, al-Burhan cited the armed forces need to protect safety and security. He promised to hold elections in July 2023 and hand them over to an elected civilian government then.

“What the country is going through now is a real threat and danger to the dreams of the youth and the hopes of the nation,” he said.

The U.N. Security Council is scheduled to meet on Tuesday afternoon for an emergency meeting on the matter.

“We are gravely concerned about reports that Sudanese security forces have used live ammunition against peaceful protesters,” Blinken added. “Security officials should immediately cease the use of violence against peaceful protesters. We also urge the restoration of Internet services.”

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The United States is under U.S. law obliged to suspend most economic support to nations where civilian leaders are ousted by the military, 

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