At least 97 people have been killed and hundreds wounded as clashes between Sudan’s military and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have spread across the country. The conflict, rooted in disagreements over a proposed transition to civilian rule, is between army units loyal to Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the RSF, led by Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo. The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that some hospitals are running out of critical supplies to treat the injured, further exacerbating the crisis.
The fighting has disrupted daily life in Khartoum, with bridges and roads closed, schools in lockdown, and many people caught in transit. Eyewitnesses have reported armored vehicles in the streets, and video footage has shown a civilian plane ablaze at Khartoum airport. In addition to the clashes in Khartoum, battles have also been reported in the Darfur region and other parts of the country, causing widespread concern about the potential for increased violence and its impact on the civilian population.
The UK, the US, and the EU have called for an immediate end to the fighting, urging the two sides to de-escalate tensions and return to talks aimed at restoring civilian rule. The United Nations and various human rights organizations have also expressed their concerns regarding the potential for increased violence and its impact on the civilian population. Moreover, the ongoing crisis in Sudan may have far-reaching implications for the stability of the entire region.
Neighboring countries, such as Chad and Egypt, may face an influx of refugees as people flee the escalating violence in Sudan. Additionally, the fragile peace in South Sudan could be jeopardized if the conflict in Sudan continues to escalate. Furthermore, the power vacuum created by the infighting between the military and the RSF might encourage extremist groups to exploit the situation, potentially exacerbating regional security concerns.
Sudan’s current crisis is a crucial test for the international community’s ability to support peace and stability in the region. The ongoing violence highlights the urgent need for dialogue and compromise between the rival factions, as well as a clear commitment from regional and international partners to support the restoration of civilian rule and the implementation of democratic reforms. Diplomats, who have played a crucial role in trying to encourage a return to civilian rule, will be desperate to find a way to get the two generals to engage in dialogue.
In the meantime, ordinary Sudanese citizens will have to endure yet another period of uncertainty and unrest. The escalating violence has a significant impact on daily life, with families sheltering in place, essential services disrupted, and fear spreading throughout the nation.
Since 2010, AOAV has recorded 120 incidents of explosive weapon use in Sudan, which have caused 1,489 civilian casualties (397 killed, 1092 injured). 2023 is already the most injurious year recorded by AOAV in Sudan so far. From 2010 to 2022, state actors caused 59% of recorded civilian harm in the country, but it has been impossible as of yet to disaggregate the harm caused by the military and the RSF over the weekend.
In conclusion, the power struggle between Sudan’s military and the RSF has plunged the nation into chaos, with civilians bearing the brunt of the violence. The situation underlines the importance of finding a diplomatic solution to the conflict and restoring civilian rule. As the fighting continues, the international community, including Western powers, regional leaders, and international organisations, must collaborate to facilitate dialogue between the two generals, support the restoration of civilian rule, and help Sudan navigate this turbulent period toward a more stable and democratic future. Additionally, it is crucial for the international community to provide humanitarian aid and assistance to the affected population, ensuring that their immediate needs are met and long-term solutions are considered.
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