Another Sudan Civil War?


Samantha Epner, Staff Writer

On April 8th, 2023, fighting broke out in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital city. About 18 months ago, two of Sudan’s most potent military generals joined forces and used the military to disrupt the country’s transition to a democratic form of government. Over a year later, these two generals have gone into battle, both trying to gain control over the country. The two groups fighting are the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary group called Rapid Support Forces, or the RSF. As the generals went into battle, each had thousands of men on each side. Many countries, including some of the EU and America, pressured the generals to start negotiations or order a ceasefire, but that was quickly denied.

Nearly four years ago, in April of 2019, Sudan overthrew the longtime dictator Omar al Bashir ending a longtime rule of dictator. After the overthrow of the president, the military decided they would rule for two years. They used a power-sharing council to lead the country. In 2021 the chief of that council dissolved it and announced that elections for the president would be held in 2023. The fighting began because, in recent months, a return to a democratic style of government had been in the negotiations.

As of April 21st, over 413 people have been killed in the fighting, one of whom is an American citizen. It has also been determined that over 2,000 people had been injured, but the WHO (world National Health Organization) thinks it likely an “underestimation” of those injured. Last Thursday, April 20th, the US had positioned military support just in case there would be a need for an evacuation. On Sunday, as the tension continued to rise, the US embassy was officially evacuated. France and Britain started to evacuate their diplomats as well. Many Sudanese residents are also fleeing in fear as the fighting has been ongoing for over two weeks. On Saturday, France led a mission to get French and other citizens of the EU out of Sudan. At least a hundred members were flown out of Sudan. 

As for Sudanese citizens, buses have taken them to nearby places away from the capital and the fighting. They have also fled to South Sudan, which borders Sudan in the south. Sudan had already been in a humanitarian crisis that had been getting better, but their healthcare had taken an awful turn with the fighting. Due to the battle, around 50 hospitals in the capital area were forced to shut down after some were destroyed. This is leaving other hospitals around the country swamped and needing medical supplies. With four failed ceasefires, more hospitals are being shut down, and even the ones that are open are struggling to treat their patients who are victims of this ongoing fight. 

In addition to injuries and homes being destroyed, the UN believes the fighting could lead to another hunger crisis. Africa has a long history of humanitarian and hunger problems, millions of people dead over the last couple of decades due to starvation. Efforts to end hunger had to be suspended due to the fighting, and the war has exacerbated the lack of food in the country. At the moment, there is no end in sight for the battle, and diplomats continue to urge negotiations and cease fires continue as countries continue to evacuate government officials and citizens of their country.