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Crisis in Sudan

Mordechai Singer

Staff Writer

Fighting erupted early in the morning in Sudan on April 15th, 2023, between the Sudanese military and a powerful paramilitary group named the “Rapid Support Forces”. The fighting has primarily taken place in the nation’s capital, Khartoum, and Darfur, the western region of the country. Each side is backed by powerful foreign nations and neither are willing to back down. The United States and surrounding African countries have tried to broker a treaty between the two heavily armed sides; however multiple cease-fires have already been discarded. Abdalla Hamdok, a recent prime minister of the distressed country, warned that a full-blown civil war within the country would be a “nightmare for the world.” Hamdok had been kidnapped and detained by the Sudanese military under General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan which led to his resignation 18 months ago during the 2021 Sudanese coup.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan rose to power during the 2019 Sudanese coup where he seized power from President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, who had been the nation’s dictator for over three decades. Originally, he shared his power with the Hamdok cabinet and other civilian leaders; however in late October 2021, he, along with the help of the leader of the Rapid Support Forces, Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan, seized power from Hamdok in the 2021 coup and began changing the leaders in the government. Shortly after the coup, Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan and Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan had a falling out over the governance of the country, and tensions began rising within Sudan. Later, both Generals further escalated the state of panic when they started deploying their respective military forces to different military camps throughout Sudan.

When this round of violence first broke out, the fighting occurred all throughout the country; however as the fighting progressed, battles mainly moved to the capital in Khartoum, and cities in Darfur. The Rapid Support Forces are a group of battle hardened fighters, mainly consisting of soldiers who had fought in the Yemen wars years earlier. On the other hand, the Sudanese military has access to technology that is inaccessible to the paramilitary group, such as gunships and warplanes. Neither side has wished to concede to the other, so the war has raged on.

The fighting is already showing its toll on the nation. During the chaos, stray bullets and bombs have hit civilian houses and ended up killing many innocent civilians. According to the Sudanese Health Ministry, there have been nearly 600 fatalities, as well as over 5,000 injuries from the violence (including both soldiers and civilians). With the threat of violence in civilian areas, many Sudanese citizens have fled from their homes to find shelter far away from the fighting. Over 150,000 refugees have fled to safety across borders into neighboring countries. The U.N. refugee agency expects the number of people who leave their homes to be close to 700,000, however the majority of that number would not leave the country. Still, this number of displaced persons would roughly account to 1.5% of the county’s population of 46 million. This war, if it continues to escalate, will be very deadly to not only to the fighters, but also the millions of innocent civilians who are in its path of destruction.


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