Sudanese protesters are urging world powers not to re-launch development aid to their government for fear of legitimizing the October 25 coup and ruining their country’s transition to democracy.
Abdallah Hamdo was released from custody after remanding in custody on 22 November. But the Sudanese resistance committees – neighborhood groups in the horizontal ruling structure that are at the forefront of the pro-democracy movement – interpreted Hamdok’s movement as a way to reaffirm power. Military leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan was arrested in connection with the coup. Since then, activists have called on the global community to stop starving for military aid.
“In the interests of the people and the protesters, the global community should not support this government in any way,” Zuhair al-Dalee, a representative of the Khartoum capital’s resistance committees, told Al Jazeera. “Any support that comes to this government will only help the coup. It will not benefit the people. ‘
Sudanese Finance Minister Jibril Ibrahim recently said that the government was in dire need of international aid because it was unable to obtain $ 650 million in international funding last month after the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund suspended aid. The freeze could make it difficult for the government to secure vital imports such as food and medicine in the coming weeks.
The blow was also interrupted $ 700 million in US aid. Part of that support was to provide a financial cushion to help the poorest Sudanese survive the austerity measures.
Cameron Hudson, a non-resident member of the Atlantic Council Africa Center, said there is now an active conversation in Washington about recovering aid, but U.S. officials are on a Catch-22.
“The right response to the Washington coup is in a position to refuse support, but it could be a movement that causes the collapse of the economy and is later blamed on the international community and Washington,” Hudson said.
“We don’t know what kind of pressure Hamdo is putting on the US administrator,” Hudson added. “It simply came to our notice then. If it weren’t for the Prime Minister, the United States would not accept or accept this government. “
Samahir Mubarak, a member of the Sudanese Professionals’ Association that led protests against former leader Omar al-Bashir in 2019, told Al Jazeera that protesters are angry that the United States is sidelining the pro-democracy movement to help Hamdo. His criticism came when US President Joe Biden launched his own Virtual Summit of Democracy, which brought together 100 representatives from governments and civil society groups around the world.
“The U.S. is reducing the entire transition to support a single person, and that’s giving the military a way out,” Mubarak said.
Sudanese generals desperately need help to compensate their constituents and unite new factions, which is key, analysts say, for gaining legitimacy and consolidating power. The head of a powerful paramilitary group known as the Fast Support Forces (RSF) recently threatened to flood Europe with refugees if the EU did not support the government.
“If Sudan opens the border, there will be a big problem all over the world,” said Mohamad Hamdan Dagalo Hemeti. said Politico earlier this month.
In recent years, EU member states have been clandestinely cooperating with militias such as the RSF to prevent migrants from entering Europe. However, Hudson told Al Jazeera that European leaders were reluctant to accept Hemeti’s demands.
“In the conversations I’ve had with them [diplomats], The EU feels that it cannot allow itself to be blackmailed, ”he said.
One solution could be to provide humanitarian assistance and re-use the majority of development aid to civil society groups and the pro-democracy movement, according to Jonas Horner, an expert on the Sudanese International Crisis Group.
“Military aid should be used in a way that is out of pocket or out of merit,” Al Jazeera said.
However, the world powers may prefer to support the government if Hamdok somehow regains popular support. In an attempt to persuade protesters, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the pro-democracy movement to drop its weight behind Hamdok at a December 1 press conference.
“I would like to make a point of common sense. We have a situation that is not perfect, but that will allow us to make the transition to democracy, ”said Guterres. “I think even if I understand why people are angry about questioning this specific solution … it would be very dangerous for Sudan.”
Guterres’ statements angered activists, and many accused the UN of supporting a coup instead of supporting democracy.
“The global community, and especially the UN, has often spoken out in favor of democratic values, but they are the ones who are paving the way for the military to move forward after the October 25 coup,” Mubarak said.
“Speaking of which, I think it’s time for more rational members of the international community to support us.”