Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates plan to send Sudan $3 billion worth of aid, throwing a lifeline to the country’s new military leaders after protests led to the ousting of president Omar al-Bashir.
The two Gulf Arab countries will deposit $500 million with the Sudanese central bank. The rest of the aid will come in the form of food, medicine and petroleum products.
The aid comes amid wrangling between the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and protesters and opposition groups who are demanding that civilians lead a two-year transitional period.
The aid from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates is the first major publicly announced assistance to Sudan from Gulf states in several years.
“This is to strengthen its financial position, ease the pressure on the Sudanese pound and increase stability in the exchange rate,” the Saudi Press Agency said.
Sudanese protesters have called on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to “keep their money” a day after Riyadh and Abu Dhabi offered to send Khartoum $3bn aid.
“They are lobbying and using money to try and control Sudan. We have enough resources to look after ourselves and our interests,” Adil Gasem Alseed, a trader, told Al Jazeera on Monday.
“We can rebuild our country without their help. We say thank you, please keep your money,” the 52-year-old said.
Other protesters said Sudan needed good leadership and not foreign aid.
Sudan has been suffering from a deepening economic crisis that has caused cash shortages and long queues at bakeries and petrol stations.