Sudan Crisis: Fighting Rages On

Photo courtesy of Daniel Balaure on

Sana Khan and Nicole Selzer

A civil war erupted in Sudan on April 15, 2023, when violence centered in the capital city of Khartoum broke out between rival factions of the military government. The military, led by President General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces, led by vice president General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (also known as Hemedti) have engaged in confrontations all over the country over the past month.

Originally, these military groups engaged in a power-sharing agreement, backed by international powers, that would help facilitate Sudan’s transition from its military government, which was formed in a coup in 2021, to a democracy. Now it appears that both groups are vying for political and economic control of the country, resulting in a civil war. This outbreak has undermined efforts to return the power of governing to the Sudanese people. 

This conflict has resulted in the death of hundreds of people and sent more than 200,000 Sudanese into neighboring countries, displacing another 700,000 within the country, and risks destabilizing the region.

Both the army and RSF have committed to protecting citizens and ensuring humanitarian aid according to the United States officials, however, a cease-fire remains unlikely. The violation of previous cease-fire agreements has left civilians struggling due to the violence, failing power and water, little food and a collapsing health system. The Sudanese people continue to face hardships, with many falling victim to home invasions, looting, and assault at the hands of the RSF forces that control their cities. 

As battles rage in Khartoum, it is apparent that neither side is respecting their agreement to protect the Sudanese people, resulting in fighting expanding into neighboring regions as well as Geneina in the Darfur region.  Currently, neither side has been able to secure a victory, with the army mobilizing its air forces while the RSF fights from the ground in residential districts.

There have been various humanitarian efforts initiated to aid the people of Sudan. According to a senior US State Department official, a declaration signed early on May 12 seeks to improve the flow of humanitarian relief and begin the restoration of water and electricity services (Al Jazeera). After a week of talks in Jeddah, Sudan’s army and the RSF signed a declaration that they would work towards a short-term ceasefire in further talks, US sources told the Reuters news agency.  It is expected that cease-fire talks with Saudi Arabia will resume later this week, however, it is unclear whether a compromise will be reached.