Home News Sudan’s One Year War: How two rival generals destroyed their countries

Sudan’s One Year War: How two rival generals destroyed their countries


The armies of two rival generals have been ravaging Sudan for a year, triggering a wave of violence that has caused 8.6 million people to flee their homes – now one of the largest waves of displacement in the world.

The war reordered Africa’s third-largest country with alarming speed. It destroyed the capital Khartoum, once a major commercial and cultural center on the Nile River. Abandoned neighborhoods are now littered with bullet-riddled buildings and bodies buried in shallow graves, according to residents and aid workers.

According to the United Nations, more than a third of Sudan’s 48 million people face catastrophic hunger as harvests and aid deliveries are disrupted.Nearly 230,000 severely malnourished children and new mothers facing death The United Nations Population Fund warns that they will face hardship if they do not receive food and health care in the coming months. Aid workers say dozens of hospitals and clinics have closed. Schools and universities closed In a country that once attracted many foreign students, it has now triggered what the United Nations calls “the world’s worst education crisis.”

Death toll from year-long fighting transcend According to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, the death toll is 15,600 and many more injured, but U.N. officials and Sudanese health workers believe the actual death toll is much higher.

Of the millions displaced by the conflict, more than 6.6 million remain in Sudan, According to the United Nations Refugee Agency.Nearly 1.8 million people have fled to neighboring countries, including South Sudan, Chad, EgyptEthiopia and the Central African Republic.

Ongoing clashes between the two generals’ rival flanks – the army and a paramilitary group called the Rapid Support Forces – have also dashed hopes that Sudan will soon usher in civilian rule.

Here’s what’s happening in Sudan.

The paramilitary Rapid Support Forces remain dominant in Khartoum, where fighting first broke out in April 2023.The organization also Consolidating control of Darfur In November it was charged commit a wave of atrocities. In December, it Capture of Walder MadaniIt is the capital of the breadbasket state of El Jezira, from which tens of thousands fled when the war broke out.

Sudanese forces control much of the country’s east, including the city of Port Sudan on the Red Sea coast. In March, the army expelled paramilitary forces from large areas OmdurmanIt is a strategic city across the Nile from Khartoum, according to a resident and aid worker.

Regional analysts and security experts say the military is trying to use the new momentum to mobilize and retake other areas from paramilitary groups.

Repeated attempts to reach a ceasefire were unsuccessful. The United Nations calls for a cessation of hostilities for a certain period has been ignored. Humanitarian agencies are struggling to deliver aid, citing fighting, threats, road blockades and tax demands.

Tom Periello, the U.S. special envoy for Sudan, said last month he hoped to resume talks within days of the conflict. high-level donor meeting April 15th in Paris.

Since 2019, Army Chief of Staff General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan has been Sudan’s de facto leader.

he take power In the uprising that followed the riots Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir ousted after three decades as Sudan’s leader After the April 2019 protests.

Prior to that, General Burhan served as DarfurFighting from 2003 to 2008 killed 300,000 people and displaced millions, drawing condemnation around the world.

After civilians and military Sign a power sharing agreement In 2019, General Burhan became chairman of the Sovereignty Council, the body established to oversee Sudan’s transition to democratic rule. But as the end of 2021 date approaches for handing over control to civilians, he is reluctant to relinquish power.

General Burhan’s main rival was Lieutenant General Mohammed Hamdan, who leads the country rapid support forcea powerful paramilitary organization.

General Hamdan, widely known as Hemeti, rose to prominence from humble beginnings as a commander of the notorious Janjaweed militia responsible for some of the worst atrocities in the Darfur conflict.

In October 2021, General Burhan and General Hamdan unite to seize power A military coup made them de facto leaders and deputy leaders of Sudan. But they soon fell out.

Many diplomats, including those from the United States, Trying to negotiate an agreement between the two generals This would allow them to return power to civilians.

However, they could not agree on how soon the Rapid Support Forces would be absorbed into the army. In April 2023, after months of tensions, their troops headed war with each other.

Both leaders visited Sudan last year to seek political support.General Burhan addressed the United Nations General Assembly, while General Hamdan Been to several African countries.in a speech In April, General Burhan said his troops were determined to fight until victory.

Sudan occupies a pivotal position on the African continent. It has a long coastline on the Red Sea, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.It borders seven countries—the Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Libya, and South Sudan—and many more threatened by instability.

The violence has spread across Darfur, home to several local armed groups already involved in fighting. Darfur is also a base for Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group, Gained opportunity in lucrative gold mining business in the past. Although Wagner has been officially disbanded, Russian mercenaries are believed to still be operating in Sudan.The Ukrainian army has Reportedly operating with Sudanese troops against paramilitary forces backed by Russian mercenaries.

The United Arab Emirates has also secretly Provide weapons and provide medical care According to several African and Western officials, the information was provided to the paramilitary forces through an air base in Chad. The Emiratis said their actions were purely humanitarian.

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