Coup: World Bank Halts Disbursements In Sudan
The World Bank has halted disbursements for operations in Sudan, following the military take over of power from the transitional government in place in the country.
This was contained in a report by Reuters, today, just as state oil company workers, doctors and pilots reportedly joined thousands of people and groups to oppose the military take over.
The coup leader, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, had, on Monday, led the coup which ousted the joint civilian-military transitional council set up to guide democratic elections in Sudan after the overthrow of Omar al-Bashir in an uprising in April, 2019.
al-Burhan claimed that he acted to stop the country slipping into civil war, but the World Bank decision to pause payments and stop processing new operations is a setback to his plans for one of Africa’s poorest countries.
After isolation from the international financing system, spanning three decades of al-Bashir’s rule, Sudan achieved full re-engagement with the bank in March and gained access to $2 billion in financing.
“I am greatly concerned by recent events in Sudan, and I fear the dramatic impact this can have on the country’s social and economic recovery and development,” World Bank President David Malpass said in a statement from Washington.
“We hope that peace and the integrity of the transition process will be restored, so that Sudan can restart its path of economic development and can take its rightful place in the international financial community,” he said.
Abdalla Hamdok, the Prime Minister of the deposed transitional government, had touted World Bank re-engagement as a major accomplishment and was depending on the funding for several large development projects.
The government had instituted harsh economic reforms that succeeded in achieving rapid arrears clearance and debt relief and renewed financing from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Meanwhile, scattered protests were said to have taken place in Khartoum, on Wednesday, however with no new bloodshed reported.
In one Khartoum neighbourhood, a Reuters journalist saw soldiers and armed people in civilian clothes removing barricades erected by protesters, just as youths build the barricades again, few hundred metres away from the spot.
A protester reportedly said: “We want civilian rule. We won’t get tired”, just as some others were seen marching in the northeastern city of Atbara, chanting “Down with the military regime”.
According to Reuters, workers at the state oil company, Sudapet, said they were joining the civil disobedience campaign to back the stalled democratic transition.
This was as pilots from national carrier, Sudan Airways, and pilots of Base and Tarco Airlines also went on strike, while employees of the country’s Central Bank have reportedly stopped working.
In the same vein, Reuters reported that Doctors belonging to the Unified Doctors’ Office group of unions also said they were striking.