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Sudan is an important crossroads between the Horn and North Africa and, for this reason, a country of transit for regional refugee flows and trans-Mediterranean migration networks. While Khartoum and its surrounding provinces remain relatively stable, instability and internal conflict still occur in the country’s peripheries, including the western Darfur region. Many Western countries, including the U.S., European Union and its member states are now seeking better relations with Khartoum. To this end, in October 2017 U.S. economic and trade sanctions were lifted. 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 Khartoum’s shift toward positively engaged regional and international relations.

CrisisWatch Sudan

Unchanged Situation

Govt and rebel faction Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) led by Abdelaziz al-Hilu met for talks in Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa 1-2 Feb, first since Oct 2016, but failed to secure cessation of hostilities agreement, hitting deadlock over humanitarian access to Two Areas (S Kordofan and Blue Nile states). SPLM-N al-Hilu 30 Jan extended its unilateral ceasefire for four months in Two Areas ahead of talks. Rival SPLM-N faction led by Malik Agar protested exclusion from talks. Protests against bread price rises continued, mainly in Khartoum; after EU and U.S. embassies condemned harsh govt crackdown, govt 19 Feb released 80 detained protesters, though hundreds remained imprisoned. Govt delegation met Egyptian counterparts in Cairo 8 Feb further de-escalating tensions between countries which flared late Dec-early Jan and agreeing to curb hostile media campaigns, set up mechanisms for high-level dialogue and reaffirm commitment to principles agreed March 2015 regarding dispute over Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

8 Mar 2018
While [Sudan] wants to show [its] independence from Egypt on the diplomatic front, [it] can’t afford to have a more powerful enemy, such as Egypt, that can affect [its] relationship with the Gulf states. MadaMasr

Magnus Taylor

Analyst, Horn of Africa
11 Feb 2018
[Salah Abdallah Mohammed Salih] may be seen [by Sudan's President] as a strong guy who could handle the difficult political situation given the recent protests. AFP

Magnus Taylor

Analyst, Horn of Africa
3 Dec 2017
This is a dangerous moment [for Sudan]. By taking out [Darfur's powerful militia chief] Musa Hilal, [Khartoum] has pitched two Darfuri Arab clans against each other. AFP

Magnus Taylor

Analyst, Horn of Africa
10 Oct 2017
[After the lifting of U.S. sanctions in Sudan] there’s been a lot of excitement among the Sudanese middle classes, even for things like getting a cinema. The sanctions have not been effective. The Hill

Magnus Taylor

Analyst, Horn of Africa
7 Oct 2017
It is appropriate to offer Sudan incentives and the beginning of a way back to a kind of international order from which it was thoroughly expelled. They had made enough progress, and we need to keep pushing them to climb. The New York Times

Magnus Taylor

Analyst, Horn of Africa
6 Oct 2017
If the U.S. is smart it will use the momentum it has gained in its relations with Sudan [by announcing an end to its 20-year-old trade embargo] and push for further improvements in the conduct of the Sudanese government. AFP

Magnus Taylor

Analyst, Horn of Africa

Latest Updates

Report / Africa

China’s Foreign Policy Experiment in South Sudan

China, traditionally averse to intervening abroad, is testing the role of peacebuilder in South Sudan, where it has unique leverage. This could portend a growing global security role, but further Chinese engagement will likely be tempered by self-interest, capacity constraints and aversion to risk.

Also available in 简体中文
Commentary / Africa

Ethiopia Must Continue to Help Stabilise South Sudan

Addis Ababa can win economic and security gains if it perseveres with its impressive commitment to peace efforts in South Sudan. With its new two-year membership on the UN Security Council, Addis Ababa has the opportunity to better connect regionally-led political processes to UN action. 

Op-Ed / Africa

It’s in Uganda’s Interest to Keep Supporting South Sudan Peace Efforts

President Museveni will naturally defend Uganda’s short-term interests, but he should also work towards longer-term stability by supporting President Salva Kiir’s pledge to bring peace through ARCSS implementation, negotiations and national dialogue.

Originally published in Daily Monitor

Forced out of Towns in the Sahel, Africa’s Jihadists Go Rural

Jihadist groups have regrouped in the neglected hinterlands of Sahel countries and are launching attacks from them. To regain control of outlying districts, regional states must do far more to extend services and representation beyond recently recaptured provincial centres.