The Biden administration suspended $ 700 million in planned aid to Sudan and condemned members of the Sudanese military involved in a coup that ousted the country’s civilian-led transitional government from power.
The Sudanese military arrested Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other senior officials, leading to widespread demonstrations against the takeover. Military forces opened fire on some of the protesters, killing at least three and wounding dozens more, according to the Sudanese Medical Committee.
The Foreign Ministry said it “immediately put the emergency aid on hold”, which would have supported Sudan’s transition to a democratic government. Spokesman Ned Price said further assistance could also be in jeopardy if military leaders did not reverse course and restore civilian government.
“We certainly reject the dissolution of the civilian-led transitional government and its affiliated institutions and call for their immediate restoration. The arrest of Prime Minister Hamdok and other civilian leaders is unacceptable,” Foreign Minister Anthony Blinken said in a statement. “The military forces must ensure their security and release them immediately. These actions have the potential to derail the country’s transition to democracy and are a betrayal of Sudan’s peaceful revolution.”
The military coup led to widespread condemnation from the international community, including the UN and the EU. The UN Security Council has scheduled an emergency meeting for Tuesday afternoon.
Blinken added that the Biden administration was “seriously concerned” about reports of violence against protesters.
“We are deeply concerned about reports that Sudanese security forces have used sharp ammunition against peaceful protesters,” he said. “Security officials should immediately stop using violence against peaceful protesters. We also urge the restoration of Internet services.”
The takeover took place just weeks before the military was to hand over control of Sudan’s sovereign council to the civilian leaders. Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, Sudan’s top military official, announced he would dissolve the council due to political conflicts.
The coup took place about two years after civilian demonstrations forced Sudan’s longtime dictator, Omar al-Bashir, to oust him.
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“The imprisonment of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and several ministers, the declaration of a state of emergency, the closure of Internet and telecommunications services and the military takeover of state-run media are a mockery of the democratic aspirations of the people of Sudan and undermine Sudan’s transition to civilian-led democratic government. years of kleptocracy and violent dictatorship under Omar al-Bashir, “said Samantha Power in a statement from the United States Agency for International Development Administration.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.