From the First Sudanese Civil War to the War in Darfur, Sudan has a long history of conflict. When despot Omar Al Bashir was ousted in 2019 in a military coup d’etat, the moment that was supposed to mark the entry into better days was quickly overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, economic instability, and ongoing conflicts in various parts of the country.
However, things seem to have taken a serious turn over the last week as rival military factions battle for power and control in the North African nation, resulting in rising numbers of civilian casualties recorded, with many more wounded, amidst a situation that’s developing rapidly and at the expense of local populations who are suffering the most.
International parties have called for an immediate halt to the violence, but attempts to resurrect a US-brokered ceasefire between the army and paramilitary forces that failed to hold on Tuesday has led to thousands of residents fleeing Khartoum.
Below, the Sudan crisis explained.
On April 15, fighting broke out between The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), led by Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, de facto military ruler of the country and The Rapid Support Forces (RSF), led by Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemedti, and who used to be al-Burhan’s former deputy.
What’s going on?
The two sides are currently engaged in a fight against each other due to their differing opinions on the country’s direction and the proposed transition to civilian governance.
When did it begin?
The exact beginning of the civil unrest is still in dispute, but the conflict has now spread to various parts of the country, with over 100 civilian casualties reported by on-ground organizations.
By Tuesday, the death toll had reportedly risen to at least 185 people with residents of Khartoum having to seek refuge outside of their homes as the sounds of explosions and gunfire echoed throughout the entirety of the capital city.
Why is it happening?
According to reports, Gen. Dagalo admitted that the 2021 coup was a mistake and has positioned himself and the RSF as allies of the Sudanese people, opposing the intelligentsia of Khartoum.
Conversely, Gen. Burhan has announced that the military will only relinquish power to a democratically elected government, which further sidelines the civilian representatives who were expected to be involved in a power-sharing agreement.
The violence follows days of tension as members of the RSF were redeployed around the country last week in a move that the national army saw as a threat.
Although negotiations were contemplated to resolve the situation, they never came to fruition, and seem out of the picture as of right now.
What can we do to help?
Read: Avoid spreading fake news and make sure you have in-depth knowledge of the situation.
Raise Awareness: Spread the word. It is important for people to cast a light on Sudan, its struggles, and to support them through their strife.
Donate: In addition to the in-fighting and political unrest, people in Sudan are also facing extreme weather shocks and rising food prices, driving poverty, hunger, and displacement. Consider donating to one of the below humanitarian organizations to support those who need it most.