The United States government announced on Monday that it was pausing delivery of $700 million in Economic Support Funds to Sudan, which Congress appropriated to support the country’s democratic transition. However, USAID’s humanitarian assistance for people in need in Sudan, which exceeded $386 million in fiscal year 2021, will continue, clarified USAID Administrator Samantha Power.
“USAID condemns the military takeover in Sudan under the apparent direction of the head of the Sovereign Council, General Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman al-Burhan,” Power wrote in a statement shared late on Monday. “The detention of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and several cabinet ministers, declaration of a state of emergency, shutting down of Internet and telecommunications services, and military takeover of state-run media are an affront to the democratic aspirations of the people of Sudan and undermine Sudan’s transition toward civilian-led democratic governance after 30 years of kleptocracy and violent dictatorship under Omar al-Bashir.”
She wrote, “When I visited Sudan in August of 2021, I met with a range of Sudanese—activists, members of civil society, journalists, local officials, students, journalists, and many others. All of them spoke of the daunting challenges Sudan faced in transitioning to democracy. Many were impatient with the pace of change. Yet they were united and steadfast in their commitment to continue working towards the “freedom, peace, and justice” that they, and their friends and families, had fought for during the 2019 revolution.
“They are among the many millions of Sudanese invested in a democratic, civilian-led future for their country, sick of the military’s corruption and insistent on a government that would work on their behalf. Today’s military takeover is a betrayal of the Sudanese people and what they achieved through peaceful protest. Today is a betrayal of the young people I met who were brutally maimed by security forces during the protests, and who never stopped seeking accountability for those who lost their lives during the revolution. Today is a betrayal of the powerful, determined, and brave women of Sudan, who led the revolution and who were insistent, despite huge obstacles, on securing greater rights for themselves and future generations.
“The United States stands with the Sudanese people, who continue to reject military rule. We call for the safety and immediate release of political detainees, restoration of the civilian-led transitional government and its associated institutions, and resumption of internet and telecommunications services. Sudanese security forces use of live rounds against ongoing protests in Khartoum are deeply disturbing. We demand that Sudan’s security forces refrain from any further violence against protesters and hold to account those responsible.”