Sudan conflict

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    • Recently, fierce fighting broke out in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, between the country’s army and paramilitary forces.

    Reason of recent crisis

    • Clashes erupted after heightened tensions between the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary group led by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo — also known as Hemedti — and the military, headed by Lt Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. 
    • The two generals disagree over the proposed transition to civilian rule in Sudan.

    Origin of the Sudan conflict

    • The roots of the ongoing conflict go back to April 2019, when Sudan’s long-serving authoritarian President Omar al-Bashir was overthrown by military generals following a countrywide uprising against him.
    • Despite Bashir’s ouster, civilians continued their demonstrations seeking democratic elections. It led to an agreement between the military and the protesters under which it was decided to constitute the Sovereignty Council, a power-sharing body of military officers and civilians, and elections at the end of 2023.
    • But the new arrangement was short-lived as the military overthrew the government in October 2021, and Burhan became de-facto leader of the country. Burhan announced that the military would hold power until elections are held in July 2023.
    • Over the past few weeks, the RSF (Para-military which was formed in 2013) was redeployed around the country, which the army saw as a provocation and threat. With both sides on edge, a ferocious battle broke out.

    Repercussions for Sudan

    • The third largest country in Africa by size has seen repeated pro-democracy protests since the 2021 coup.  
    • Some experts fear the tussle could transform into a wider conflict leading to the country’s collapse.
    • Sudan’s economy is struggling, battered by hyperinflation and crippled by massive foreign debt.
    • Billions of dollars given in international support and debt relief, were frozen after the ouster of the government.

    Darfur Region

    • Darfur is a region of western Sudan. Darfur covers an area of 493,180 square kilometers, approximately the size of mainland Spain.
    • Most of the region consists of a semi-arid plain and thus appears unsuitable for developing a large and complex civilization.

    Map - Sudan, Chad And Surrounding Areas | On Our Watch ...

    • The White and Blue Niles merge at Khartoum, the capital of Sudan.
    • Sudan’s relationship with Ethiopia in particular has been strained over disputed farmland along their border, over conflict in the Tigray region that drove tens of thousands of refugees into Sudan, and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

    Case at International Criminal Court (ICC)

    •  International Criminal Court (ICC) alleged that al-Bashir (Sudanese former military officer and politician who served as the seventh head of state of Sudan under various titles from 1989 until 2019, when he was deposed in a coup) bore individual criminal responsibility for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes committed since 2003 in Darfur.
    • ICC accused al-Bashir of having “masterminded and implemented” a plan to destroy the three main ethnic groups—Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa.

    Division of Sudan

    • The Sudanese conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile in the early 2010s between the Army of Sudan and the Sudan Revolutionary Front started as a dispute over the oil-rich region of Abyei in the months leading up to South Sudanese independence in 2011.
    • South Sudan became an independent state on 9 July 2011, following 98.83% support for independence in a January 2011 referendum.

    Source: TOI