Sudanese protesters called on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to “keep their money” a day after Riyadh and Abu Dhabi gave Khartoum $3bn aid.
Hours after the oil-rich Persian Gulf states made the announcement on Sunday, demonstrators at the sit-in outside Sudan’s military headquarters in the capital started chanting: “We don’t want Saudi support.”
“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.
“We have the resources. With good leadership, we can look after our country,” Hanan Alsadiq, a university student, said.
“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.
The military removed al-Bashir earlier this month after months of anti-government protests during which dozens of people were killed.
The two countries, in a joint statement, said $500m would be deposited in Sudan’s central bank to “ease the pressure on the Sudanese pound and achieve more stability in the exchange rate”.
The rest of the aid money will be sent in the form of food, medicines and fuel derivatives, the statement added.
Many demonstrators at the sit-in said they suspected the two countries of trying to influence the ruling military transitional council with the aid.
Sudan’s new military ruler, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, was the head of the country’s ground troops when Khartoum sent its soldiers to Yemen to fight for Saudi Arabia in its military aggression against the impoverished Arab country.
A country of more than 40 million people, Sudan has been suffering from a deepening economic crisis that has caused cash shortages and long queues at bakeries and petrol stations.
Demonstrators first took to the streets in December last year following a hike in the price of bread, a staple food in the northeast African country.