Sudan

 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

Full-scale conflict pitting Sudanese army (SAF) and allied Darfuri armed groups against Rapid Support Forces (RSF) erupted in North Darfur’s capital El-Fasher, threatening to inflame intercommunal conflict further in coming weeks.

Fighting broke out in El-Fasher. Clashes 10 May erupted between SAF in alliance with Darfuri armed groups and RSF in El-Fasher, killing and displacing thousands. SAF and armed groups held western and central neighbourhoods, and RSF controlled north and east sectors while besieging city. Outside El-Fasher, RSF-affiliated militias attacked non-Arab villages, while SAF airstrikes targeted RSF positions but also communities allegedly supporting paramilitary, including mostly Arab El-Zurug and Kutum villages; attacks threaten to aggravate intercommunal conflict in coming weeks. UN special adviser on the prevention of genocide 21 May warned “the risk of genocide exists” and is “growing”. Fighting obstructed aid deliveries as World Food Programme 3 May warned of “widespread starvation and death”.

Hostilities escalated across several other states without decisive gains. SAF-RSF clashes expanded from flashpoints including Babanussa town, West Kordofan state, North Kordofan’s capital El-Obeid, and Gezira state capital Wad Madani, to multiple towns and rural villages, increasing displacement and civilian casualties; RSF 19 May announced seizure of Um Rawaba area, North Kordofan. SAF continued offensives in capital Khartoum and sister cities Omdurman and Bahri, particularly in Bahri’s Jiali oil refinery area, but failed to secure clear-cut victory. Parties continued mobilising local communities, exacerbating violence and complicating future peacemaking efforts. In and beyond Darfur, restrictions on free movement, arbitrary killings, arrests and lootings by both sides and their supporters underscored growing lawlessness and impunity across country.

Several political coalitions called for transfer of power to civilians. SAF-aligned political coalition “National Forces Coordination”, which includes over 40 political parties, armed groups, community leaders and civil society organisations, 8 May endorsed political charter proposing three-year transitional govt with joint military-civilian Sovereign Council and transitional legislative council. Anti-war coalition Tagadum, which claims neutrality between warring parties, 26 May launched founding conference of expanded coalition in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, attended by over 600 key stakeholders; conference led to adoption of Tagadum’s political position, new leadership structure and basic principles for political process.

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In The News

28 Մայիս 2024
You can’t help but watch the level of focus on … Gaza and Ukraine and wonder what just 5 percent of that energy could have done in a context like Sudan. Foreign Policy

Alan Boswell

Project Director, Horn of Africa
9 Մայիս 2024
The Sudanese have basically been forgotten, obviously there’s the war in Gaza which has taken a lot of attention. Al Jazeera

Alan Boswell

Project Director, Horn of Africa
16 Apr 2024
A big part of the problem has been the Sudanese army side of the war essentially blocking food relief into areas they don't control. CBS News

Alan Boswell

Project Director, Horn of Africa
24 Հուն 2024
Regaining an ally in Sudan, especially along the Red Sea, would be a major win for Iran but will spook other regional and Western powers. Al Arabiya

Alan Boswell

Project Director, Horn of Africa
20 Դեկ 2023
There hasn't been a major ceasefire push since the first few weeks of the war in Sudan … It's been a giant mess. The Economist

Alan Boswell

Project Director, Horn of Africa
20 Դեկ 2023
The [Sudanese] army has never had to fight a war like this before and has shown itself not fit for purpose. The New York Times

Alan Boswell

Project Director, Horn of Africa

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Shewit Woldemichael

Senior Analyst, Sudan
Shewit Woldemichael

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