Sudanese protesters take part in a demonstration in southern Khartoum on 6 April 2023 marking a key anniversary in the decades-old struggle against military rule with new protests against the general. Photo by EBRAHIM HAMID/AFP via Getty Images.

The war in Sudan between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) shows no sign of stopping, amid grave human rights violations against civilians by both sides and a growing number of external actors fuelling the conflict.

The UN has warned of humanitarian catastrophe, with millions of people at actual or imminent risk of famine. With escalating fighting and ethnically targeted violence, particularly in Darfur, neither side is likely to be able to achieve a decisive victory, which could lead to a protracted conflict and the de facto partition of the country.

To date, the shining light for Sudanese civilians has been youth-driven emergency response rooms and other front-line responders who are risking their lives to help their communities.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Sudanese Armed Forces soldier walking among damaged buildings, near Khartoum, Sudan, April 2024. El Tayeb Siddig / Reuters

The biggest hunger crisis in the world is unfolding in Sudan, and it is man made. As of now, more than half of the country’s 45 million people urgently need humanitarian assistance. In May, the United Nations warned that 18 million Sudanese are “acutely hungry” including 3.6 million children who are “acutely malnourished”. The western region of Darfur, where the threat is greatest, is nearly cut off from humanitarian aid. According to one projection, as much as five percent of Sudan’s population could die of starvation by the end of the year.

This dire situation is not the result of a bad harvest or climate-induced food scarcity.…  Seguir leyendo »

Children run as a storm approaches Ambelia refugee camp on April 20 in Adre, Chad. Since the beginning of the recent conflict between the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the the Sudanese Armed Forces, (SAF), over 600,000 new refugees have crossed the border from Darfur in Sudan, into Chad. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

“If you were Masalit, we decided that we don’t want to leave any alive, not even the children”. This explicit warning, recounted by a survivor to Human Rights Watch, by a militiaman of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and its allies last June is emblematic of the ongoing genocidal atrocities in Darfur. Rarely does the world bear witness to such open confessions of genocidal intent.

The RSF is the successor to the janjaweed militia, which carried out a genocide in Darfur just 20 years ago against non-Arab ethnic groups such as the Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa. At the time, a mass movement emerged in the United States—led by the Save Darfur coalition, which comprised nearly 200 organizations—mobilizing worldwide protests and bringing out prominent celebrities, including then-Sen.…  Seguir leyendo »

First They Came for Sudan’s Future. Now They’re Destroying Its Past.

On the evening of April 14, 2023, I was at a concert in Khartoum. The end of Ramadan was near, and the audience listened to the ouds, tambours and kanoons of Bait Al Oud, an orchestra set up to preserve traditional Sudanese instruments. I sang along to songs made popular by the 2019 revolution and then floated home, my spirits high.

The next day I watched fighter jets fire rockets into the neighborhoods where I grew up.

Thousands of people have been killed since fighting erupted just over a year ago between the Sudanese Army and the Rapid Support Forces, a powerful paramilitary group that is the latest iteration of the janjaweed, or devils on horseback, which was central to the ethnic cleansing in Darfur in the 2000s.…  Seguir leyendo »

A woman carries aid in sacks at a camp for internally displaced Sudanese people on May 12. (AFP/Getty Images)

With the world’s gaze directed elsewhere, the specter of genocide again looms over the Darfur region in western Sudan.

The city of El Fasher and its more than 2.5 million residents are in the crosshairs of the military faction known as the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which controls three of the four main roads leading into the city. Sudan’s government forces (SAF) and several local militias are barely holding on.

The RSF has been laying siege to El Fasher for more than a month. The city’s population is swelling with refugees from other cities and towns across Darfur trying to escape the 13-month civil war.…  Seguir leyendo »

Watch List 2024 – Spring Update. Working with Others to Halt Sudan’s Collapse

The catastrophic war in Sudan has entered its second year, with no end in sight. The conflict erupted in April 2023 amid a struggle between the country’s two most powerful security forces, the Sudanese army, under General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), led by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti. After a year of fighting, much of the capital Khartoum lies in ruins, with major combat still raging there and in several other cities and parts of the countryside. The state has largely collapsed. The war has killed tens of thousands, displaced nine million and threatens millions more with starvation.…  Seguir leyendo »

Members of the Sudanese Armed Forces parading in Karima city, Northern State, in May 2024. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

The war in Sudan has become one of the worst ongoing humanitarian crises in the world. In a little over a year of fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), there have been 6.8 million people internally displaced, 2 million fleeing the country, and 24.8 million, almost half the population, in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

The United Arab Emirates is the foreign player most invested in the war. In fact, without its direct and all-around support, the RSF would not have been able to wage war to the same extent.

Sudan is key to the UAE’s strategy in Africa and the Middle East, aimed at achieving political and economic hegemony while curbing democratic aspirations.…  Seguir leyendo »

Children play near tents at a camp in southern Gedaref, Sudan, on March 20. AFP via Getty Images

This week marks exactly one year since Sudan descended into war.

Over the last year, the world’s most influential organizations, leaders, and publications have characterized Sudan’s ongoing war as catastrophic and beyond a point of no return. On paper, these terms seem reasonable in describing the dire circumstances on the ground. More than 15,000 people have been killed in war-related violence, over 8 million people have been displaced, and widespread hunger is increasing.

Though this language is attention-grabbing—and quotable—it has restricted the international community’s response to the conflict. This style of language—which effectively dismisses many conflict zones as lost causes—is a constant in humanitarian crises.…  Seguir leyendo »

Una familia de refugiados de la región sudanesa de Darfur en la frontera entre Sudán y Chad, en julio de 2023.Zohra Bensemra (REUTERS)

Según la Oficina de Coordinación de Asuntos Humanitarios de las Naciones Unidas, se está sufriendo en Sudán “la peor crisis del mundo, además de la más compleja y cruel”, sin que dé lugar a ningún titular de prensa. Con casi nueve millones de desplazados dentro del país (la mitad de ellos niños) y casi dos millones de refugiados en el extranjero, Sudán es, de hecho, el escenario de la mayor crisis de desplazados por la fuerza del mundo. Además, lo peor está por llegar: los combates han perturbado las siembras en las regiones más fértiles de Sudán. Casi 20 millones de personas, casi uno de cada dos sudaneses, se enfrentan a una grave inseguridad alimentari a en un país que solía ser un importante productor de alimentos.…  Seguir leyendo »

Des fumées s’échappent de Khartoum après des bombardements aériens, le 1er mai 2023. MOHAMED NURELDIN ABDALLAH / REUTERS

Les enjeux de la conférence humanitaire sur le Soudan qui se tiendra lundi 15 avril à Paris, un an exactement après le début du conflit, sont immenses : l’avenir du troisième plus grand pays d’Afrique est compromis ; la survie de millions d’enfants, de femmes et d’hommes est en jeu alors qu’une éventuelle famine et la période de soudure se profilent ; la stabilité de toute une région, qui accueille déjà des centaines de milliers de réfugiés, est menacée. Et que dire de l’intégrité morale du monde entier, ici remise en question, avec en toile de fond les atrocités que nous n’avons pas réussi à arrêter il y a deux décennies de cela au Darfour ?…  Seguir leyendo »

The Unforgivable Silence on Sudan

Silence. Last September, when I visited a makeshift hospital in Adré, Chad, where young Sudanese refugees were being treated for acute malnutrition, that was all I heard: an eerie silence.

I had tried to prepare myself for the wails of children who were sick and emaciated, but these patients were too weak to even cry. That day, I saw a 6-month-old baby who was the size of a newborn and a child whose ankles were swollen, and whose body was blistered, from severe malnourishment.

It was equal parts newly horrific and tragically familiar.

Twenty years earlier I had visited the same town and met with Sudanese refugees who fled violence in Darfur, where the janjaweed militia, with backing from Omar al-Bashir’s brutal authoritarian regime, carried out a genocidal campaign of mass killing, rape and pillage.…  Seguir leyendo »

People rally in Wad Madani, Sudan, in December 2023. (Photo by AFP via Getty Images)

On 8 March, the UN Security Council adopted a UK-drafted resolution calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Sudan during the month of Ramadan, a sustainable resolution to the conflict through dialogue, compliance with international humanitarian law and unhindered humanitarian access.

Eleven months into the war, this is the first time that the Council has been able to agree on a resolution. The mandate of the UN Panel of Experts that monitors the sanctions regime in Darfur was also renewed by the Council. Does this signify hope that efforts to end the war might gather momentum? Or is Sudan likely to face a protracted conflict?…  Seguir leyendo »

Sudanese refugees in Adre, Chad, August 2023. Zohra Bensemra / Reuters

A humanitarian and human rights catastrophe is unfolding in Sudan. With nearly 11 million people already displaced—three million of them children—the country is now home to the most people rendered homeless by conflict worldwide, and its populace sits poised on the brink of a major famine. A collapsing medical system renders the war’s true death toll unknown. Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, is being destroyed block by block.

It may be tempting to think of this tragedy as another episode in a multi-decade conflict. The main combatants—the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), the paramilitary group that the SAF organized out of the militias known as the Janjaweed—also helped drive the war in Darfur 20 years ago.…  Seguir leyendo »

A rebel convoy in North Darfur province, Sudan, 2009. Jérôme Tubiana

In 2009 Arbab, a tall, slim, thirty-five-year-old man, was driving a pickup truck in North Darfur province, part of a rebel convoy that had crossed into Sudan from Chad. Aside from a small circle in the windshield through which to see the road, his vehicle was covered in mud, making for a stark contrast with his perfectly clean uniform. The guerillas were trying to hide from the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), whose fighter jets nonetheless launched optimistic volleys at their convoy.

The conflict in Darfur, a region the size of France in the west of Sudan, had begun in 2003. It pitted two rebel forces, largely drawn from local non-Arab communities, against the central government of President Omar al-Bashir.…  Seguir leyendo »

Refugees fleeing the conflict in Sudan queue with their jerrycans to queue to collect drinking water from the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) distribution point at the Ourang refugee camp in Adre on Dec. 7, 2023. Denis Sassou Gueipeur / AFP

With more than 12,000 killed and 7.3 million people displaced, ongoing warfare in Sudan has steadily broken down the country’s political, social, and medical services. Reports suggest more than 24 million of the country’s 46 million people need assistance; cholera cases had risen to over 8,200 by late December; and between 70 percent and 80 percent of hospitals in affected states have been left nonfunctional.

As violence and displacement counts rise, humanitarian aid efforts haven’t kept up. Instead, initiatives to negotiate between the warring powers—the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), led by Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), led by Mohamed Hamdan “Hemeti” Dagalo—have been the priority for the international community, neglecting the suffering that ordinary Sudanese citizens have endured for the last nine months.…  Seguir leyendo »

Siempre me ha parecido que es un país enigmático colocado entre dos grandes civilizaciones (la egipcia y la etíope), y un pasado lleno de nombres evocadores como Nubia, el Mahdi, Lord Kitchener, el general Charles Gordon (que pereció en el sitio de Jartum en 1889) o el encontronazo francobritánico de Fachoda en 1898. Es cuna de la civilización cusita y tiene al menos 255 pirámides.

Sudán tuvo un pasado colonial (el Sudán angloegipcio que desapareció con la independencia en enero de 1956). Segundo país de África en extensión, tras una cruenta guerra civil se ha desgajado en 2011 el Sudán del Sur, mayoritariamente cristiano y negro, del resto del país, musulmán y árabe.…  Seguir leyendo »

China’s President Xi Jinping speaks at the “Senior Chinese Leader Event” held by the National Committee on US-China Relations and the US-China Business Council on the sidelines of the APEC summit in San Francisco, California, U.S., November 15, 2023. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/Pool

Can we stop things falling apart? 2024 begins with wars burning in Gaza, Sudan and Ukraine and peacemaking in crisis. Worldwide, diplomatic efforts to end fighting are failing. More leaders are pursuing their ends militarily. More believe they can get away with it.

War has been on the rise since about 2012, after a decline in the 1990s and early 2000s. First came conflicts in Libya, Syria and Yemen, triggered by the 2011 Arab uprisings. Libya’s instability spilled south, helping set off a protracted crisis in the Sahel region. A fresh wave of major combat followed: the 2020 Azerbaijani-Armenian war over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, horrific fighting in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region that began weeks later, the conflict prompted by the Myanmar army’s 2021 power grab and Russia’s 2022 assault on Ukraine.…  Seguir leyendo »

Sudanese men at Port Sudan on 31 December 2018. Photo by Eric Lafforgue/Art in All of Us/Corbis via Getty Images.

Currently much of the world’s attention is focused on the UN’s struggle to achieve a ceasefire and avert  humanitarian catastrophe in Palestine. At the same time, another devastating war rages in Sudan, with similarly violent consequences for millions of people and an inability to reach a ceasefire.

Sudan is now the country with the largest number of displaced people in the world – more than 11 million people. Since April alone, 5.4 million people have been internally displaced and 1.3 million have fled to neighbouring countries including Chad, Egypt, and South Sudan. While over half the population – 25 million people (including 13 million children) – urgently need humanitarian assistance.…  Seguir leyendo »

Aview of destruction in a livestock market area in al-Fasher, the capital of Sudan's North Darfur state on Sept. 1. AFP via Getty Images

The diplomatic needle has moved on Sudan at last. There’s an opening to halt the carnage, end the famine, and save the state from collapse. An intricate diplomatic dance is underway involving African and Arab leaders as well as the United States.

Almost eight months after fighting erupted in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, followed by mass atrocities in that city and in the western region of Darfur, a serious peace initiative was finally set in motion this past weekend. A summit meeting of African leaders, held in Djibouti at the initiative of Kenyan President William Ruto, agreed on an overall formula for a cease-fire and political talks.…  Seguir leyendo »

A fire in a livestock market in El Fasher, in North Darfur, in September. Sudanese paramilitary and military forces are fighting for control of the region. Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

There’s a genocide in the making in Darfur, Sudan — for the second time in 20 years. This time, the violence is happening on President Biden’s watch, and he and his administration have not done enough to stop it. But there are two things Mr. Biden can do today that could have real impact: Stop America’s Middle Eastern allies from arming the perpetrators and get behind a Kenyan-led African initiative to end the bloodshed.

In recent weeks, Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, a mercenary-commercial enterprise, has overrun four of the five main cities in Darfur, a region in western Sudan. Each conquest has been followed by massacre and pillage targeting communities of the cities’ darker-skinned residents.…  Seguir leyendo »