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

Unchanged Situation

Conflict Risk Alert

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.

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In The News

9 máj 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 jan 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 dec 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
20 dec 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
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

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shewit-woldemichael

Shewit Woldemichael

Senior Analyst, Sudan
Shewit Woldemichael

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