Tracking Conflict Worldwide

CrisisWatch is our global conflict tracker, an early warning tool designed to help prevent deadly violence. It keeps decision-makers up-to-date with developments in over 70 conflicts and crises every month, identifying trends and alerting them to risks of escalation and opportunities to advance peace. In addition, CrisisWatch monitors over 50 situations (“standby monitoring”) to offer timely information if developments indicate a drift toward violence or instability. Entries dating back to 2003 provide easily searchable conflict histories.




Fears of all-out intercommunal conflict in North Darfur escalated as paramilitary forces (RSF) and Darfuri armed groups prepared for war and Sudanese army (SAF) intensified bombings of Arab areas. 

RSF and Darfuri armed groups prepared for war, raising fears of ethnic conflict. Tensions in North Darfur escalated after three members of a coalition of non-Arab armed groups, Joint Force of Armed Struggle Movements, 12 April aligned with SAF against RSF. RSF-aligned Arab militias, meanwhile, torched villages around North Darfur’s state capital El Fasher in response to growing role of non-Arab populations in conflict, notably Sudanese Zaghawa of North Darfur, heightening fears of all-out ethnic warfare. U.S. 24 April warned of imminent RSF offensive on El Fasher, which hosts hundreds of thousands of displaced people; UN 26 April said RSF were reportedly encircling city and that attack “would have devastating consequences” for civilians. Meanwhile, SAF carried out airstrikes on RSF positions, reportedly killing scores. 

SAF-RSF fighting persisted in Bahri, Gezira and South Kordofan. Fighting continued in Omdurman and Bahri cities, with SAF making modest gains. SAF offensive to retake Wad Madani state capital in Gezira made no significant progress. In South Kordofan state, RSF-affiliated militias 5-6 April reportedly attacked villages in Qurdud Nyama region, killing scores.

International conference pushed for aid and greater mediation coordination. In international humanitarian summit for Sudan and neighbouring countries held in French capital Paris, various states 15 April pledged $2.1bn aid and reaffirmed commitment to peace initiatives; regional and international actors also convened ministerial meeting, calling for unhindered humanitarian access, cessation of hostilities and support for consolidated mediation and peace process. Saudi and U.S. committed to restart Jeddah process within three weeks. U.S. 29 April called for all countries to halt weapons’ exports to Sudan, warning El Fasher is “on the precipice of a large-scale massacre”. 

Civilian actors held meetings to discuss future political process. On Paris conference sidelines, EU brought together Sudanese civilian political actors to discuss ending conflict and prospects for political future. Promediation organisation, supported by Swiss govt, 20 April hosted meeting of Sudanese political actors to discuss ceasefire negotiations and political process; talks excluded representatives from former President Bashir’s National Congress Party.



Sudanese army (SAF) made significant gains against paramilitary forces (RSF) and fighting reignited in North Darfur, amid rising risk of famine.

RSF lost ground amid SAF offensive. SAF recaptured much of Omdurman city from RSF, with its forces 12 March taking control of national radio and television headquarters. Offensive 17 March reached Signal Corps in Bahri city, which risks becoming next epicentre of fighting; SAF could also attempt to retake capital Khartoum, increasing danger of protracted urban warfare. SAF launched multi-pronged offensive into RSF-controlled El Gezira state; paramilitary holds state capital Wad Madani, critical for maintaining its positions in Khartoum. Sudan Liberation Movement under Darfur governor Minni Minawi 24 March announced group was joining SAF to expel RSF from Khartoum and El Gezira. Meanwhile, violence 15 March broke out in North Darfur’s capital El Fasher, with SAF conducting airstrikes on RSF positions; fighting could engulf state in conflict, drawing in armed groups from Darfur that have so far remained neutral. 

Various diplomatic efforts continued, albeit without clear results. AU High-Level Panel for Sudan 6 March met separately with members of former President Bashir’s National Congress Party (NCP) and Forces for Freedom and Change-Democratic Bloc in Egyptian capital Cairo. Panel next day separately met RSF and civilian coalition Taqaddum in Ethiopia; both criticised panel’s talks with NCP, indicating challenge of bridging Sudan’s polarised political landscape. UN Security Council 8 March urged cessation of hostilities during Muslim holy month Ramadan; RSF next day welcomed call, but SAF 10 March ruled out truce unless RSF leaves civilian locations. U.S. Special Envoy Tom Perriello 11 March embarked on regional tour, 26 March said he hoped for restart of talks around 18 April, though RSF and SAF remained sceptical about U.S. mediation. Rumours circulated of secret RSF-SAF meetings in Cairo, which RSF denied. Regional bloc Intergovernmental Authority on Development 26 March appointed Special Envoy for Sudan.

Humanitarian agencies warned of looming hunger crisis. World Food Program head 6 March warned conflict risks triggering “world’s largest hunger crisis”, with “over 25 million people across Sudan, South Sudan and Chad trapped in a spiral of deteriorating food security”. Integrated Food Security Phase Classification 29 March called for immediate action “to prevent famine”.



Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) launched offensives against paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), both sides faced internal challenges, and U.S. named special envoy in push to end war.

SAF offensives yielded some success, RSF advanced in North Kordofan. Following months of setbacks, SAF made gains in Omdurman city, Khartoum state, 16 Feb claimed to have broken RSF siege on Engineers and Medical Corps there. SAF also defended positions in West Kordofan state’s Babanussa town, splitting Misseriya community’s allegiance to RSF. Reports of summary executions of alleged RSF supporters, however, increased opposition to SAF. Meanwhile, RSF 17 Feb claimed capture of SAF’s Jebel Al Daier base in North Kordofan, leaving paramilitary in control of state apart from state capital and paving way for expansion into White Nile state. In South Kordofan, SAF, rebel group Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (al-Hilu) and SAF-affiliated Public Defence Forces, mostly from Nuba community, 9-10 Feb attacked RSF in Habila town; RSF counterattack 9 Feb killed over twenty as fighting turned into communal conflict between RSF-affiliated Arab tribes and Nuba.

SAF faced internal divisions and RSF struggled to administer areas it controls. SAF 6 Feb arrested officers in Omdurman, sparking flurry of rumours including that army had foiled coup attempt, laying bare divisions within SAF and raising fears of breakdown in command and control. Meanwhile, RSF faced mounting opposition among local communities in Gezira state and struggled to enforce law and order in South Darfur; it also struggled to protect Reziegat communities in North and South Darfur from SAF bombardment, fuelling discontent among paramilitary’s main support base.

U.S. appointed special envoy for Sudan. U.S. Sec State Antony Blinken 26 Feb announced appointment of Special Envoy for Sudan, signalling stepped-up efforts to end war following months of failed mediation. Humanitarian situation remained dire; SAF late Jan-early Feb reportedly blocked aid to RSF-controlled areas, while RSF and SAF traded blame for early Feb disruptions to telecommunications networks that impacted aid deliveries. UN Human Rights Office 23 Feb issued report detailing abuses by both sides, some of which UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk said “would amount to war crimes”.



Paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) advanced south into Sennar, White and Blue Nile states, and began consolidating power in Darfur region; RSF leader’s diplomatic tour continued.

RSF advanced south and began consolidating power in Darfur. Following RSF’s Dec advance toward central-eastern Sudan and subsequent capture of Gezira state capital, army early Jan began arming civilians in Gezira; RSF 18 Jan threatened to continue offensives into eastern Gedarif, Kassala and Port Sudan states if civilian recruitment continues. In south, RSF early Jan surrounded Sennar city, Sennar state, and advanced toward White and Blue Nile states, triggering formation of new militias that support army. Meanwhile, RSF stepped up efforts to form civil administration and security structures in parts of Darfur region it controls. Notably, in West Darfur state it appointed new governor and pursued peace deals with local actors; in North Darfur state, it worked to de-escalate tensions with Darfuri armed groups, most of whom are Juba Peace Agreement signatories, and forged alliances to bolster security presence in state capital El Fasher. 

Fighting fuelled ethnic conflict in Kordofan region. In South Kordofan state, RSF 8 Jan attacked army position around Dilling town, leading to skirmishes with rebel group Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (al-Hilu) due to group’s ethnic affiliation with army; confrontation turned into ethnic-based conflict between non-Arab Nubian SPLM-N (al-Hilu) and RSF-affiliated Misseriya and Hawazma Arab militias. In West Kordofan state’s Babanusa town, RSF-army clashes 22-24 Jan reportedly killed and injured dozens.

Army stepped up offensives. Army renewed aerial offensives in capital Khartoum, as well as South Darfur and Gezira states; 27 Jan launched ground attacks in Khartoum’s north and south east amid offensive in sister city Omdurman. Addressing troops in Kassala state, Burhan 30 Jan announced shift in strategy, directing army and allies to launch full-scale offensive against RSF.

RSF leader continued diplomatic engagement. RSF leader Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo “Hemedti” continued regional tour, 18 Jan attended Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) summit in Uganda, prompting army 20 Jan to suspend Sudan’s membership in setback for IGAD mediation effort. Hemedti 2 Jan signed declaration with civilian coalition TAQADDUM, agreeing to ceasefire talks with army; army leader 5 Jan rejected declaration. 



Rapid Support Forces (RSF) captured Wad Madani city in first major offensive east, raising fears group could try and conquer entire country by force; RSF leader embarked on major diplomatic tour.

RSF seized Gezira state capital, triggering mass displacement. RSF 15 Dec launched offensive on El-Gezira state capital Wad Madani in east, sparking clashes with army and shattering relative stability of regional state. Paramilitary 18 Dec stormed Wad Madani after capturing army base, army next day announced withdrawal from city. Fighting displaced around 300,000 people, while UN humanitarian agency 15 Dec suspended field missions in state. RSF 20 Dec claimed capture of military base in Gezira’s al-Hasaheisa town. Paramilitary’s advance east marked new phase in war and signalled it could attempt to conquer Sudan by force.

RSF eyed capture of North Darfur capital El Fasher. Joint Force of Armed Groups, comprised of Juba Peace Agreement signatories, 2 Dec announced troop deployment to North Darfur in preparation for RSF attack on El Fasher, only Darfur state capital not under its control. Chairman of rebel group Sudan Liberation Movement-Transitional Council Al-Hadi Idris 12 Dec warned RSF attack could “transform the ongoing war into a tribal conflict”. Army and RSF 16 Dec clashed in northern El Fasher and Abu Shouk displacement camp.

Fighting continued in capital Khartoum, RSF clashed with rebel group in South Kordofan. Clashes 14 Dec reignited around strategic sites of Khartoum North and persisted elsewhere in capital, killing dozens. In North Kordofan, clashes continued over state capital El Obeid. In South Kordofan state, RSF 5 Dec launched attack on Tukma village, sparking clashes with rebel group Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North.

In other important developments. After army official late Nov accused Chad and United Arab Emirates of supporting RSF, N’Djamena and Abu Dhabi expelled Sudanese diplomats, prompting tit-for-tat measures from Sudan. Regional bloc Intergovernmental Agency on Development (IGAD) 9 Dec held emergency summit in Djibouti; sides agreed to ceasefire and face-to-face meeting, but next day denied commitments were unconditional. RSF leader Mohamed “Hemedti” Hamdan Dagalo late Dec embarked on major diplomatic tour, meeting with leaders of Uganda, Ethiopia and Djibouti in effort to improve RSF’s diplomatic standing.



Rapid Support Forces (RSF) scored major victories in Darfur, reportedly targeting ethnic Massalit communities; RSF advances to North Darfur triggered Juba Peace Agreement (JPA) signatories to renounce neutrality, raising risk of all-out ethnic conflict in Darfur.

RSF captured West Darfur and East Darfur state capital, left trail of alleged mass atrocities. Having captured South and Central Darfur states late Oct, RSF 4 Nov seized West Darfur, 21 Nov captured East Darfur state capital El Daein. Refugees in Chad claimed RSF committed “many atrocities” during early Nov attacks on Ardamata in West Darfur, including ethnically-motivated killings and sexual violence. Thousands of people fled Ardamata and evidence of mass graves emerged.

JPA signatories threatened to fight RSF if it advances towards El Fashir, North Darfur. Paramilitary early Nov began march on North Darfur state capital El Fasher, prompting two JPA signatories, Sudan Liberation Movement under Minni Minawi and Justice and Equality Movement, 16 Nov to renounce neutrality and fight alongside Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF); third signatory, Gathering of Sudan Liberation Forces, 20 Nov followed suit. Groups deployed forces across North Darfur, raising fears of all-out ethnic conflict. Involvement of JPA signatories, whose members largely hail from Zaghawa community, could reverberate in Chad, where Zaghawa community lives and dominates govt and military (see Chad).

Fighting in Kordofan and capital Khartoum persisted. RSF continued advance in Kordofan region, targeting oil infrastructure. Notably, paramilitary launched more attacks on North Kordofan state capital El Obeid, through which major pipeline runs. Offensive brought fighting near border with South Sudan and disputed Abyei region, raising risk of spillover (see South Sudan). Meanwhile, battle for Khartoum continued. Notably, RSF 20 Nov claimed it had seized Jebel Awlia army base south of Khartoum, which could facilitate advance into White Nile state.

In other important developments. U.S.-Saudi facilitated talks in Jeddah city 7 Nov failed to yield ceasefire. Reports late Nov surfaced of Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) plans to hold emergency summit on Sudan in early Dec. Army General 28 Nov publicly accused United Arab Emirates of supplying RSF.



Paramilitary forces (RSF) captured South Darfur state, marking major turn in war, and are expected to push forward in Darfur and Kordofan in coming weeks.

RSF captured South Darfur amid series of battlefield victories. RSF scored major victories against army in Darfur region. Most notably, paramilitary 27 Oct seized army’s 16th Infantry Division in South Darfur capital Nyala, leading to total conquest of state. Elsewhere, RSF 31 Oct captured 21st Infantry Division of army in Central Darfur state capital Zalingei, and by late Oct was moving on army positions in West Darfur and North Darfur state capitals; despite North Darfur state governor and Darfur regional governor urging RSF to halt advance, paramilitary could seek to overtake army garrisons in these state capitals in coming weeks in bid to capture entire region from army. This risks dragging members of Juba Peace Agreement signatories (who until now have remained neutral) into confrontation with paramilitary forces. Hostilities in capital Khartoum, meanwhile, continued unabated.

RSF gained ground in West Kordofan as conflict spread to new fronts. In West Kordofan state, RSF 30 Oct seized Baleela airport and oilfield; forces expected to advance on remaining army garrisons across state in coming weeks in bid to take full control of region. Elsewhere, RSF expanded into White Nile State while army mobilised in Sudan’s south east and east, with new recruits headed for Khartoum allegedly reaching border towns between Gezira State and capital. In response, RSF deployed to Gezira in attempt to cut off crucial supply route for army. Meanwhile, army battled with rebel group Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) in South Kordofan state; notably, SPLM-N 9 Oct attacked army positions in Delling town, taking control of area.

Jeddah talks resumed. U.S.-Saudi-brokered talks 28 Oct resumed in Saudi city Jeddah, with Intergovernmental Authority on Development and African Union acting as co-facilitators; civilian representatives yet to be invited. Initial rounds will not deal with political issues, but instead focus on humanitarian aid deliveries and negotiations related to ceasefire; major RSF advances, however, dampened hopes for progress on ceasefire agreement.



Fighting between army and paramilitary forces continued in Khartoum and Darfur, killing highest number of civilians in one month since fighting erupted; army leader conducted regional tour.

RSF battled for control of Khartoum. Fighting in Khartoum and sister city Omdurman continued as paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) sought to fully conquer capital, 16-18 Sept launching well-coordinated attacks on remaining army bases. Army responded with intensified airstrikes, resulting in high civilian casualties; notably, shelling 5 Sept killed over 30 in Omdurman and alleged army drone 10 Sept killed around 50 in Khartoum. After Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Burhan’s escape from capital late Aug, army announced plans to form emergency govt in Port Sudan; army walked back plans following wide opposition from various actors including civilians and instead late Sept announced reshuffle to various ministries.

RSF-army clashes raged in Darfur, rebel group expanded foothold further east. Having captured most of West Darfur, RSF concentrated its assault on army in North and South Darfur, with latter’s state capital Nyala witnessing most intense fighting outside Khartoum. Army’s indiscriminate airstrikes caused scores of civilian casualties in mostly Arab-populated areas, with shelling 13 Sept killing at least 40. In South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, rebel group Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North continued to expand its foothold, emerging as third major force in conflict. Meanwhile, army and tribal militia known as Forces of the Eastern Sudan Parties and Movements Alliance 18 Sept clashed in Port Sudan over control of security checkpoints.

Burhan met with number of regional leaders. Burhan continued regional tour among countries seen to support army before 21 Sept addressing UN General Assembly in New York. Efforts to restart talks faced more setbacks. Notably, Ministry of Foreign Affairs 8 Sept reiterated rejection of Kenyan-led Intergovernmental Authority on Development mediation, while Burhan 9 Sept rejected African Union’s (AU) mediation after AU Commission Chairperson Musa Faki 3 Sept met RSF special envoy Yousif Izzat. Meanwhile, U.S. 6 Sept sanctioned prominent RSF leaders, which could dissuade group from mediation process involving U.S., 28 Sept levied additional sanctions against prominent pro-Bashir politician and two companies supporting RSF.



Army chief fled Khartoum as fighting in capital raged on, inter-ethnic clashes flared in Darfur, and tribal mobilisation threatened stability in east.

Army leader fled Khartoum amid heavy fighting. Hostilities between Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) continued in Khartoum, with RSF attacking SAF military bases and SAF conducting airstrikes and firing artillery. Notably, SAF early Aug targeted Shambat bridge, key RSF supply line to sister cities Omdurman and Bahri; SAF and RSF 20-23 Aug battled over Armoured Corps base in Al-Shajara neighbourhood, SAF’s only remaining stronghold in capital besides headquarters. Meanwhile, army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan 24 Aug escaped headquarters after months-long RSF siege, subsequently visiting regional bases and Port Sudan before 29 Aug travelling to Egypt for talks.

RSF-SAF clashes in Darfur enflamed intercommunal conflicts. RSF 4 Aug claimed it had defeated SAF in Central Darfur, which SAF denied; in South Darfur, fighting between SAF and RSF throughout month killed scores and displaced 50,000 from state capital Nyala; and in North Darfur, fighting 17 Aug resumed in state capital El-Fasher. SAF-RSF fighting exacerbated intercommunal conflicts, particularly in South Darfur; notably, Salamat and Beni Halba tribes throughout month clashed in Kubum locality; rival Reizigat clans fought in and around Nyala. Meanwhile, media outlet The New Humanitarian 15 Aug reported testimonies of Darfuri refugees in Chad alleging RSF attacks on non-Arab civilians, especially Masalit, fleeing region.

Tribal mobilisation in east threatened stability, fighting continued in Kordofan. In eastern Sudan, RSF late July accused former President Bashir’s National Congress Party and Islamists in military of arming tribal militias, prompting number of Arab tribes to join RSF in Aug. In North Kordofan state, SAF 1 Aug clashed with RSF near Umm Ruwaba city. In South Kordofan state, rebel group Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North continued targeting SAF positions, notably in state capital Kadugli and Dalami town.

Burhan rejected RSF call for negotiations. Amid stalled external mediation efforts, RSF 27 Aug expressed willingness for talks and presented ten-point plan for “lasting peace”; Burhan next day rejected initiative.



Paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) gained upper hand in Khartoum amid heavy fighting with army, Darfur witnessed high levels of ethnic targeting, and diplomatic disarray hindered peace efforts.

RSF entrenched its superior position in capital Khartoum as war intensified. Fighting continued to escalate between army under Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Burhan and RSF led by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo “Hemedti” as conflict 24 July turned 100 days old. RSF gained upper hand in capital Khartoum and sister city Bahri, seizing control of strategic sites as army suffered significant battlefield losses. Notably, RSF 15 July repelled major army offensive trying to break its two-month siege of army headquarters in Bahri. Paramilitary’s momentum prompted speculation it could soon win war for Khartoum.

Darfur region saw high levels of ethnic targeting. Amid fighting between army and RSF in various areas of Darfur, South and West Darfur states witnessed numerous attacks on civilians, notably perpetrated by RSF and affiliated tribal militias on members of other ethnic groups. In West Darfur, epicentre of ethnic conflict involving Arab Rizeigat (from which most RSF personnel come) and non-Arab Masalit tribes, UN 13 July reported bodies of at least 87 Masalit had been discovered in mass grave; International Criminal Court same day launched investigation of alleged war crimes in Darfur. In South Darfur, RSF 18 July seized control of Kaas town, displacing thousands.

Fighting continued in Kordofan states and spilled into Blue Nile state. After settling into uneasy stalemate, hostilities between army and RSF 20 July resumed in North Kordofan state capital, El Obeid. In South Kordofan state, rebel group Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North throughout July clashed with army, reportedly taking control of several towns and pushing into Blue Nile, where sides notably fought around al-Kurmuk locality.

Competing mediation tracks failed to yield results. Various, uncoordinated diplomatic initiatives continued throughout month, producing little. Notably, regional bloc Intergovernmental Authority on Development 10 July convened talks, calling for end to war, while Egypt 13 July hosted leaders from Sudan’s neighbouring countries, announcing its own initiative with the same goal. Meanwhile, army conveyed several messages hinting at interest in talks, while Hemedti 28 July said he would reach peace deal with army “in 72 hours” if it replaces leadership.

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