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‘No US aid to Sudan until civilian govt restored’

January 20 - 2022 KHARTOUM
File photo
File photo

The US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs and the Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, who are currently visiting Sudan, have strongly condemned the use of disproportionate force against protestors, and stressed that the USA will not resume the currently suspended assistance to the Sudanese government without the restoration of a civilian-led government.

In a statement via the US Embassy in Khartoum today, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Molly Phee, and newly appointed Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, David Satterfield, say that after meeting with a wide cross-section of Sudanese civil society, they “share the deep concern of the Sudanese people about the disruption of the democratic transition“.

Phee and Satterfield strongly condemn the use of disproportionate force against protestors, especially the use of live ammunition and sexual violence and the practice of arbitrary detention. They call for transparent and independent investigations into the deaths and injuries that have occurred and for all those responsible to be held accountable.

During their visit to Sudan, Assistant Secretary Phee and Special Envoy Satterfield met families of those who lost loved ones in violence against pro-democracy demonstrators, and underscored that the USA will not resume paused assistance to the Sudanese government without “an end to violence and restoration of a civilian-led government that reflects the will of the people of Sudan”.

Today’s statement says that in meetings with the US officials, “the military leaders of the Sovereignty Council, offered their commitment to inclusive national dialogue, the political transition, the establishment of a civilian-led government based upon consensus, and acknowledged the importance of establishing and sustaining a peaceful environment to allow the political process to proceed”.

They made clear that “the USA will consider measures to hold accountable those responsible for failure to move forward on these goals,” and urged the lifting of the State of Emergency as a significant confidence-building measure.

The US officials endorsed the recently launched Sudanese-led political process facilitated by the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission to Sudan (UNITAMS) as a means to help Sudanese civilian stakeholders identify a common way forward to overcome Sudan’s political impasse and pledged full US support for the effort, and called upon all Sudanese stakeholders to engage in this process.

Phee and Satterfield expressed the US government’s solidarity with pro-democracy elements in Sudan, and pledged sustained support to the Sudanese people in their efforts to achieve freedom, peace, and justice, today’s statement concludes.

Aid suspended

The USA suspended all aid to Sudan following the military coup d’état of October 25. At the time, US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said that “the United States is pausing assistance from the $700 million in emergency assistance appropriations of Economic Support Funds for Sudan. Those funds were intended to support the country’s democratic transition.”

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