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Sudan

Sudan is undergoing a major transition following the 11 April ouster of Omar al-Bashir, one of Africa’s longest-ruling leaders. The strongman’s toppling, prompted by a sustained, peaceful campaign by a diverse and well-organised protest movement, raised hopes that the country might make a transition to more inclusive, civilian-led rule. That transition has been halting and is fraught with risk, with the old military regime showing little appetite for real change. Sudan matters not least because it sits in one of the most geostrategic locations on the continent, straddling the Horn and North Africa, with a long Red Sea coastline, and serving as a historical bridge between North and sub-Saharan Africa. Through field research and advocacy with Sudanese and international actors in the region, we aim to reduce the likelihood of conflict inside Sudan and encourage a genuine transition to more inclusive governance by Khartoum and an attendant shift toward positively engaged regional and international relations.

CrisisWatch Sudan

Unchanged Situation

U.S. removed country from State Sponsor of Terrorism (SST) list, govt and rebel groups formalised Aug peace deal, and violence erupted in east. U.S. President Trump 23 Oct signed order to remove Sudan’s SST designation after Sudan transferred $335mn to escrow account for victims of al-Qaida’s 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania; Trump same day announced Sudan and Israel had agreed to normalise relations. In South Sudanese capital Juba, govt, rebel coalition Sudanese Revolutionary Front and Sudan Liberation Movement/Army faction led by Minni Minnawi 3 Oct formalised Aug peace deal; Sovereign Council and cabinet approved deal 12 Oct and its incorporation into constitutional declaration 18 Oct. Faction of rebel group Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North led by Abdelaziz al-Hilu 29 Oct began talks with govt aimed at bringing group into deal. In east, ethnic Beja 3-6 Oct demonstrated in Port Sudan, Suakin and several other towns in Red Sea state against peace agreement’s “eastern track” and called for self-determination for eastern Sudan; protesters 5 Oct killed police officer in Haiya town. PM Hamdok 13 Oct dismissed ethnic Beni Amer governor of Kassala state after months of Beja protests opposing his Aug appointment; in following days violence erupted in Red Sea and Kassala states leaving at least 30 dead by 20 Oct; notably, clashes between Beni Amer and Beja 14 Oct killed six in Suakin; security forces 15 Oct confronted Beni Amer protesters in Kassala city, leaving seven protesters and one soldier dead. In South Darfur state, fighting between factions of holdout rebel group Sudan Liberation Movement/Army led by Abdel Wahid al-Nur displaced more than 4,500 in Sharg al-Jabal area throughout month; clashes between ethnic Fellata and Masalit 20-22 Oct left at least 14 dead in Gireida locality. In capital Khartoum and other cities across country, thousands 21 Oct demonstrated against dire economic situation and poor living conditions; security forces opened fire on demonstrators in Khartoum, reportedly killing two.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

6 Oct 2020
The military [...] simply has not had the time nor shown the will to address violence in the way that many rural Sudanese would need to see in order to put down their weapons. AFP

Jonas Horner

Deputy Project Director, Horn of Africa & Senior Analyst, Sudan
1 Oct 2020
Sudan’s economy is in freefall and there has been limited international assistance. Al-Jazeera

Jonas Horner

Deputy Project Director, Horn of Africa & Senior Analyst, Sudan
26 Aug 2020
Sudan has been pretty isolated for a long time. It is very keen to get off this [terror] list. This is the carrot. Financial Times

Jonas Horner

Deputy Project Director, Horn of Africa & Senior Analyst, Sudan
29 Jul 2020
The violence [in Sudan] has triggered a wave of sit-ins across the region, demanding authorities protect civilians from the militias, who are scrambling to secure their gains now that Bashir has gone. The New York Times

Jonas Horner

Deputy Project Director, Horn of Africa & Senior Analyst, Sudan
13 Mar 2020
The transitional government and the international community [in Sudan] must move quickly to avert an economic collapse and accompanying disintegration of the transitional dispensation. France24/AFP

Jonas Horner

Deputy Project Director, Horn of Africa & Senior Analyst, Sudan
9 Mar 2020
The attack [in Sudan] may have the effect of increasing the solidarity between the civilian and military components of the transition. Wall Street Journal

Jonas Horner

Deputy Project Director, Horn of Africa & Senior Analyst, Sudan

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Jonas Horner

Deputy Project Director, Horn of Africa & Senior Analyst, Sudan