US suspends promised assistance to Sudan related to Abraham Accords

US suspends promised assistance to Sudan related to Abraham Accords
2 min read
01 June, 2022
The Biden administration has stopped sending aid to Sudan following deepening unrest in the country due to last October's military coup.
There is growing unrest in Sudan following last year's military coup which led to the overthrow of the civilian government [Getty]

The United States has suspended aid to Sudan, including promised assistance related to Khartoum’s recognition of Israel via the US-brokered Abraham Accords.

The aid was initially committed to Sudan’s civilian government, which was overthrown in a bloody coup in October 2021, a State Department spokesman told The Times of Israel. It included wheat shipments and certain development and trade and investment assistance, the spokesman said.

In 2020, Sudan joined Bahrain, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates in signing the Abraham Accords, a US-brokered deal to normalise relations with Israel.

Israel-Sudan normalisation has not yet been completed because of the unrest in the northeast African country.

Washington has also reportedly suspended foreign assistance unrelated to the Abraham Accords.

The State Department told The New Arab that it was continuing to provide funding to non-governmental organisations in Sudan.

"We are proceeding with limited, new obligations of previously paused funds to promote democracy and human rights through civil society organisations, as well as for programs that support independent media, and the marginalized populations of Sudan. None of this assistance directly benefits the military government," the State Department said.

"Decisions on our future relationship with the government of Sudan will be based on progress toward a civilian, democratic transition.

"We also note a range of programs to promote democracy and human rights in Sudan through civil society organisations supported by funds other than the $700 million emergency appropriation have continued without pause. We have also continued to provide significant humanitarian assistance to the Sudanese people."

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Sudan has been reeling from deepening unrest since its military took over the country in a coup in October 2021, upending a fragile transition following the 2019 ouster of President Omar al-Bashir.

The military takeover triggered widespread international condemnation and punitive measures, including crucial aid cuts by Western governments pending the resumption of the transition to civilian rule.

Israel was notably quiet about the coup, and Sudan's military leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan has lauded Sudanese ties with Israel.  The United States has called on Israel to support the call for democracy in Sudan.

Sudan is one of the world’s poorest countries, and is struggling from a plunging economy and years of conflict and mismanagement.