By Olive Mukahirwa
Despite calls from the United Nations and the international community for peace talks in Sudan, the fighting that started in Khartoum on April 15 continues
The conflict was started by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the leader of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) – who is also considered the head of the country – and General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, commonly known as Hemedti, who is commander of the special unit called Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
The war intensifies day after day. Truces agreed to by both sides have repeatedly been breached by the deployment of envoys sent by the warring generals to cease-fire talks in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Violence has so far claimed the lives of at least 700 people. More than 5,000 people are known to have been injured, 335,000 have left their homes, and 115,000 have fled the country, according to the spokesperson of the International Organization for Migration (OIM). In addition, 2 million people are on the brink of starvation, as warplanes continue to bomb areas of the capital Khartoum, according to Le Monde.
The United Nations has expressed concern that between 2 and 2.5 million Sudanese could face starvation in the next six months if there is no immediate ceasefire.
On May 4, U.S. President Joe Biden condemned all those who are involved in creating war and undermining the prospect of peace, security, and a democratic transition by abusing civilians and committing other crimes against human rights in Sudan.
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization announced that it is becoming difficult to deliver food to people at risk of starvation. The warring parties refuse to stop fighting to allow food carriers to pass. Additionally, there are reports of trucks being waylaid that are carrying food intended for people. In one such instance, over 80,000 tons of food were stolen from trucks heading to Darfur, in western Sudan.
Five million people who live in Khartoum have no electricity and are struggling to get enough food in a country where already one person out of three depends on humanitarian aid. Only 16% of hospitals are operational.
Since October 2021, Sudan has been led by Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the commander-in-chief of the army, appointed by the Supreme Military Council after the 2019 coup which overthrew the 30 year-regime of President Omar al-Bashir.
The special unit called Rapid Support Forces (RSF) led by Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo was established in 2013 and had its birth in the famous Janjaweed militia that brutally fought against rebels in Darfur. Since that time, Dagalo has set up a powerful force that has been involved in the conflicts in Yemen and Libya. He also controls some of the gold mines of Sudan.
The war that started on April 15 was precipitated by an inability of the two generals to agree on the way the country should be ruled, especially concerning the scheduled handing over of power to civilians. International superpowers are involved behind the scenes, protecting their own interests, and backing different generals.