Image source, EPA
Image caption Demonstrations are ongoing against the coup

After a military coup against the civilian government, the World Bank suspended aid to Sudan.

National protests erupted after political leaders were taken into custody on Monday.

Sudan was also expelled from the African Union (AU), due to the “unconstitutional” seizure and seizing of power. The US has frozen $700m (£508m) in aid.

For the last two years, Sudan’s military and civilian leaders were in fragile power-sharing agreements.

Sudan’s economy was struggling at the time it cut aid.

Further pressure was placed on Gen Abdel Fattah Burhan by the World Bank and AU to restore the civilian government.

Gen Burhan had responsibility for the power-sharing deal and said that it was necessary to avoid civil war. He maintained that Sudan continues to move towards democracy and electoral elections by 2023. However, the overwhelming rejection of his logic and the abrupt takeover has been widespread.

David Malpass, president of World Bank said that “I am deeply concerned by the recent events in Sudan” and that it could have a dramatic effect on the country’s socio-economic recovery and development.

Sudan received billions of dollars from the World Bank in March. This was the first grant in almost 30 years after clearing its arrears. Following years of economic turmoil, Malpass indicated that there was some progress.

Prim Minister Abdalla Hamdok stated that the World Bank provided $3 billion in assistance to Sudan, which was used to help with transport, education and health care.

He spoke last month before the World Bank that the changes made to funding had “began to bear fruit” because the economy was showing signs of stabilisation. This is now at risk.

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The AU said that it was happy for the release of the prime Minister, but Sudan would remain inactive until the civilian government is restored.

Street protests continued for the third day with at least 10 victims killed by soldiers who opened fire on demonstrators. Reports say that troops were seen going from Khartoum to arrest local protest organizers.

The demonstrations are being supported by trade unions that represent doctors and workers in the oil industry. Staff at Sudanese Banking Association also join the protests.

Abdul Rashid Khalifa (the association’s spokesperson) stated that they oppose any type of military action or dictatorship.

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In 2019, Omar al-Bashir’s long-time leader was overthrown and the civil-military agreement was made. The power-sharing agreement was meant to lead Sudan towards democracy. However, it’s been fragile by several coup attempts.

Sudan’s economy has been in severe straits since long, and the average person is likely to suffer more.

Mass protests and rising prices for basic commodities and bread shortages led to massive demonstrations and Omar al-Bashir’s overthrow two years earlier.

His rule made Sudan a pariah of the West. He was overthrown by a civilian-led government that sought to rebuild international relationships to obtain funding. Many of these funds are being lost right now and could threaten Sudan’s recovery.

Some have suggested that coup leaders may have some support from the Arab League. Their room for maneuvering is shrinking as the international pressure increases.

While the US claims it is currently in discussions with Gulf countries about Sudan’s situation, the African Union’s suspension of its membership only increases the isolation and resentful behavior of generals.


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