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.
Dans cet épisode d’Afrique 360, Enrica Picco reçoit Jérôme Tubiana, conseiller de Médecins Sans Frontières sur les questions des réfugiés, pour parler de la guerre qui ravage le Soudan depuis plus de six mois et de ses retombées dans la région, notamment au Tchad. Ils évoquent la crise humanitaire et migratoire et les affrontements ethniques au Darfour.
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.
The east [of Sudan] is a powder keg. We just haven’t seen it blow up yet.
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.
Both sides [fighting in Sudan] have their own reasons for confidence, which is one reason we haven’t gotten to peace talks.
You need a cease-fire [in Sudan] quickly or you are staring at civil war.
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.
This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard is joined by Crisis Group’s experts Shewit Woldemichael and Alan Boswell to discuss the recent advances of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces in Sudan’s Darfur region and what to expect from the resumption of talks between Sudan’s warring factions in the Saudi city Jeddah.
This week on The Horn, Alan is joined by Dr Suliman Baldo, Executive Director of the Sudan Transparency and Policy Tracker, to discuss the situation in Sudan six months into the war and where the country is headed.
This week on The Horn, Alan speaks with Maryam Elfaki, an active member of Sudan’s resistance committees, about life inside Khartoum's war zones and the future of grassroots activism in Sudan.
Amid shifting military dynamics, a narrow window for dialogue about stopping the fighting in Sudan may have opened. But diplomacy is in disarray. Outside actors should urgently coordinate efforts to steer the belligerents toward a negotiated end to hostilities.
This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard is joined again by Crisis Group’s Sudan expert Shewit Woldemichael and Horn of Africa director Alan Boswell to talk about Sudan and whether anything can stop the slide into protracted civil war.
This week on The Horn, Alan Boswell is joined again by Jérôme Tubiana, writer and a former Crisis Group expert, to speak about the escalating violence in West Darfur in the wake of continued fighting between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
Ferocious fighting in the capital and elsewhere is tipping one of Africa’s largest countries ever closer to falling apart. There are no easy ways to halt the carnage. All with influence should do everything possible to stop Sudan’s slide into even greater disaster.
This week on The Horn, Alan talks with Michael Wahid Hanna, Crisis Group’s U.S. Program director, about the role of Egypt in Sudan’s war and how it might shape future relations between the two neighbouring countries and Cairo’s regional diplomacy.
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