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Monday, April 22, 2024

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Sudan Coup: World Bank Suspends Aid After Military Takeover

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The World Bank has suspended its aid to Sudan, after the military there staged a coup against the civilian government.

On Monday, political leaders were arrested sparking nationwide protests and international condemnation. The African Union (AU) has also suspended Sudan from the bloc over the “unconstitutional” seizure of power. The US has frozen $700 million (£508 million) in aid. Sudan’s civilian and military leaders had been in a fragile power-sharing agreement for the past two years.

The sudden cut to aid is likely to have dire consequences for Sudan’s battered economy, at a time when it was just starting to get back on its feet. The World Bank and AU moves to put further pressure on the coup leader, Gen Abdel Fattah Burhan, to reinstate the civilian government.

Gen Burhan was in charge of the power-sharing agreement and has said the coup was necessary to avoid “civil war”. He has insisted that Sudan is still moving towards democracy and elections in 2023 – but his reasoning and the sudden takeover have been widely rejected. The president of the World Bank, David Malpass, stated, “I am greatly concerned by recent events in Sudan and I fear dramatic impact this can have on the country’s social and economic recovery and development.”

Sudan suspended from African Union

On Wednesday, the African Union issued a communique that Sudan would be suspended from the 55-state bloc’s activities. The document notes that the suspension will remain until “the effective restoration” of the transitional authority which was tasked with guiding the country towards democratic governance in 2023.

In a tweet, the African Union Political Affairs Peace and Security department stated that it welcomed the release of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok following his arrest during the coup, but it said the “restoration of the civilian-led Transitional Authority” was a prerequisite for Sudan’s renewed participation in the AU. It also demanded the immediate release of the Sudanese ministers and civilian officials who remain in detention.

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