Following the ousting of Omar al-Bashir as president of Sudan after a military take-over which was spurred by unending protests by defiant citizens, the Northeast African country has been in the news for different reasons. This is expected considering that this is the first time the country is experiencing life without Omar al-Bashir in 30 years.
The first set of news and speculations were around the whereabouts of the president, whom the military said they would not hand over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to face charges of war crimes. It was not certain at that time if he had been sent on exile in Uganda or imprisoned by the military council.
Then there were the reports of the over $350 million dollars that was reportedly found at the residence of former President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan barely weeks after he was toppled in a military coup which took place on April 11.
Reuters quoted a source in Sudan’s judiciary as saying suitcases loaded with more than $351,000, €6m ($6.7m; £5.2m) and five billion Sudanese pounds ($105m) were found at Bashir’s home.
Over time, it has become a regular occurrence to find large stashes of cash in foreign currency in the apartments and offices of ousted African leaders. However, some critics say there is a possibility that the cash was planted.
The latest news coming out of the country is one involving the receipt of US$3 billion by the Sudanese Central Bank from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The funds were referred to as a critical financial boost from the rich Arab countries.
The oil-rich Gulf States pledged to inject $500 million into the Sudanese central bank and $2.5 billion to help provide food, medicine, and petroleum products, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.
Why have they chosen to inject the funds now and what is their aim? Is the funding a loan or a grant? What are the conditions attached to this funding?
Well, if Saudi Arabia and the UAE thought the Sudanese people will receive the money with open hands without asking questions, then gone are the days.
The Sudanese protesters have called on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to "keep their money".
"They are lobbying and using the 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.
"We have the resources. With good leadership, we can look after our country," Hanan Alsadiq, a university student, told Al Jazeera.
"The timing of their aid says a lot about their intentions. Why did they wait until now? Why did they not call on Omar al-Bashir to stop when he was killing our people? Their money will only create problems for us," said Alsadiq, who was born in Saudi Arabia.
It is sad that foreign superpowers often see African countries as cheap prey who can be bought over by money. Foreign aid is clearly a tool used by the world's superpowers to assert global dominance. It is high time this mentality is changed.
What are your thoughts?
Header Image Credit: Africa News