Stuck on US Terror List, Sudan Turns to Wealthy Gulf for Aid - The Libyan Report

Stuck on US Terror List, Sudan Turns to Wealthy Gulf for Aid

A Sudanese official who attended the meeting said Stefan Oswald, director of Sub-Saharan Africa in Germany's economic cooperation and development ministry, told the delegation it was important to "build trust" about how foreign aid would be spent, and "address the black holes," referring to the influence of the security forces that served al-Bashir's regime for decades.

The German ministry refused to comment on the meeting.

Hamdok has counted on Washington lifting Sudan's terror designation, which would clear the way for loans from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. A widely respected economist, he says Sudan needs up to $8 billion in foreign aid in the next two years and another $2 billion deposited as reserves to shore up the local currency.

Instead, Sudanese Assistant Undersecretary Elham Ahmed found herself repeating the same demand in an October meeting with Brian Shukan, the new U.S. chargé d'affaires to Khartoum, asking for a U.S. plan to end the designation. Shukan told Sudanese Foreign Minister Asma Abdalla on Sunday that there are attempts to remove Sudan from the U.S. list but that this "requires some time."

However, the challenges facing Sudan are so daunting, it may no longer be able to wait for a change in Western policy. Battered by decades of U.S. sanctions and mismanagement under al-Bashir, Sudan suffers from high inflation, an enormous foreign debt at close to $60 billion, and widespread shortages of essential goods, including fuel, bread and medicine.

Hamdok and Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, head of the sovereign council overseeing Sudan's transition, visited Saudi Arabia and the UAE earlier this month, directly after the prime minister returned from the U.N. General Assembly and France.

Both Riyadh and Abu Dhabi vowed to provide $3 billion in aid following the Sudanese military's overthrow of al-Bashir in April. At the time, many Sudanese protesters saw it as a bid to shore up military rule and stifle their pro-democracy movement.

The two monarchies have already delivered half of the $3 billion. The remaining half is expected to be delivered by the end of next year, said Sudan's Finance Minister Ibrahim Elbadawi. source