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Conflict continues in Sudan after a month of chaos and ceasefire violations

Khartoum — from one month The Sudanese conflict began, its capital is a desolate war zone where terrorist families rage in the dusty, deserted streets outside while gun battles in their homes. As people hope to avoid stray bullets, they endure desperate shortages of food and basic supplies, power blackouts, communication outages and runaway inflation.

Khartoum, a city of 5 million on the banks of the Nile, has long been a place of relative stability and wealth, even amid decades of sanctions against former strongman Omar al-Bashir. Now it has become a shell of its former self.

Burnt aircraft lay on airport tarmacs, foreign embassies were closed and hospitals, banks, shops and grain silos were looted by looters.

Sudan’s warring generals have broken a ceasefire

Fighting broke out on April 15 between army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his former deputy, Mohammad Hamdan Daglo, who heads the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

While the generals fought, the remnants of the government retreated about 500 miles away to Port Sudan, the center of mass. Eviction of both Sudanese and foreign nationals.

Americans fleeing civil unrest in Sudan cross the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia


According to the Armed Conflict Locations and Events Data Project, the fighting killed more than 750 people. Thousands more have been injured and nearly a million displaced, including long refugee convoys to Egypt, Ethiopia, Chad and South Sudan.

Multiple cease-fire agreements have been agreed and quickly violated, and hopes for an end to the war have faded, causing more suffering for 45 million people in one of the world’s poorest countries.

Alex Rondos, the former EU special representative in the Horn of Africa, said both sides “break ceasefires with regularity that demonstrate a sense of impunity unprecedented by the standards of Sudan’s civil conflict.”

In their latest move, Burhan announced that he was freezing the RSF’s assets, while Daglo threatened in an audio recording that the army chief would be “brought to justice and hanged” in a public square.

A history of Sudan’s unrest

Sudan has a long history of military coups, but hopes rose after pro-democracy protests that ousted the Islamist-backed Bashir in 2019, followed by a shaky transition to civilian rule.

As Washington and other foreign powers lifted sanctions, Sudan was slowly reintegrating into the international community Another coup in 2021.

the sudan

Smoke rises in Khartoum, Sudan, May 3, 2023. Clashes between the military and a rival paramilitary force in Sudan have left many people fleeing.

Marwan Ali/AP

Despite all the shelling, aerial bombardment and anti-aircraft fire of recent weeks, neither side has been able to seize the battlefield advantage.

The Egyptian-backed army has air power advantages and, according to experts, Daglo is backed by UAE and foreign fighters. He commanded troops allegedly originating from the notorious Janjaweed militia Atrocities in DarfurThat started two decades ago.

For now, “both sides believe they can win militarily,” U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haynes told a recent Senate hearing.

“Sudan will be much poorer”

The war has deepened the humanitarian crisis in Sudan, where one in three people already relied on humanitarian aid before the war.

Since then, aid agencies have been looted and at least 18 of their workers have been killed.

Across the Red Sea, in the Saudi city of Jeddah, ambassadors from both sides are holding talks. By May 11 they had signed a pledge to respect humanitarian principles, including the protection of civilians and the authorization of badly needed humanitarian aid.

More than 800,000 people could flee Sudan’s conflict, UN warns


But, “absent a significant change in the mindset of the warring parties, it is difficult to see the promises on paper being fulfilled,” said Ally Verzi, a Sudan researcher at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

Sudan has a long history of conflict, particularly in western Darfur, where Bashir has unleashed the Janjaweed since 2003 to quell a rebellion by non-Arab ethnic minorities.

The scorched-earth campaign killed up to 300,000 people and uprooted more than 2.7 million, the United Nations said.

According to the Ministry of Health, most of the deaths during the current fighting have occurred in Darfur.

The ministry reported 199 deaths in Khartoum, but said at least 450 had been killed in West Darfur state capital El Jenina and surrounding areas as of May 10.

Mohammad Osman of Human Rights Watch said hospitals were destroyed, “and there were reports of people dying from injuries sustained in the early days of the war.”

Food shortages in Darfur displacement camps mean “people have gone from three meals a day to just one,” says Dr Without Borders.

Varzi said fighting across the country had destroyed workshops and factories and “partially deindustrialized Sudan”.

“This means that any future Sudan will be very poor for a very long time.”

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