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Sudan military council receives aid from Saudi Arabia and UAE

Sudan military council receives aid from Saudi Arabia and UAE
By Mark Armstrong with Reuters, AP
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Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates say they will send 3bn dollars' worth of aid to crisis-torn Sudan


Amidst ongoing protests in Sudan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates said they are sending 3bn dollars' worth of aid to the interim ruling military council.

The two countries will deposit $500 million with the Sudanese central bank and send the rest in the form of food,  medicine and petroleum products, their state news agencies said in parallel statements.

"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.

It is the first major publicly announced assistance to Sudan from Gulf states in several years.

The two Gulf states have ties with the head of Sudan's transitional military council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, through their participation in the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.

Sudan has been suffering from a deepening economic crisis that has caused cash shortages and long queues at bakeries and petrol stations.

Protesters vow to continue

The new military leaders confirmed on Sunday that ousted former president Omar al-Bashir is behind bars.

But protesters on the street are also calling for a rapid transition to civilian rule and the move may not be enough to persuade them to go back to their homes.

"There's still so much to do," said Romaisa Hammed-Yousef. "You don't know where to start because this has been going on for 30 years, and to undo whatever that was done is going to take a long time and a lot of support. And everyone has to come in together and everyone has to understand that it's not one person's job, but it's everyone together to come up with the same spirit, with the same attitude that is here now, with this sense of peacefulness and sense of brotherhood."

The Saudi and UAE aid may be a lifeline for the military council but the protesters have vowed to stay on the streets until they get what they want.

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