In April 2023, war broke out in the capital Khartoum between the Sudanese army led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces headed by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo “Hemedti”. Fighting quickly spread to other parts of Sudan, particularly Darfur to the west and Kordofan to the south. Instability in Sudan, a strategic country that connects the Sahel, North Africa, the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea, will have ramifications well beyond its borders. The war has already sucked in outside actors. Meanwhile, long-running rebellions in several of the country’s peripheral regions persist. Through research and advocacy, Crisis Group aims to contribute to mitigating and resolving the conflicts in Sudan. 


CrisisWatch Sudan

Deteriorated Situation

Conflict Risk Alert

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.

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In The News

21 Sep 2023
The east [of Sudan] is a powder keg. We just haven’t seen it blow up yet. Al Jazeera

Alan Boswell

Project Director, Horn of Africa
31 Mayo 2023
The concern now is if these Jeddah talks collapse, it confirms more or less that Sudan is basically in freefall into a full civil war. Al Jazeera

Alan Boswell

Project Director, Horn of Africa
3 Mayo 2023
Both sides [fighting in Sudan] have their own reasons for confidence, which is one reason we haven’t gotten to peace talks. Washington Post

Alan Boswell

Project Director, Horn of Africa
18 Abr 2023
You need a cease-fire [in Sudan] quickly or you are staring at civil war. Bloomberg

Murithi Mutiga

Program Director, Africa
15 Abr 2023
Sudan is on the precipice of civil war. This is the double-headed monster that seized power after Bashir. Now the two heads have turned on each other. Washington Post

Alan Boswell

Project Director, Horn of Africa

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Shewit Woldemichael

Senior Analyst, Sudan
Shewit Woldemichael

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