Tensions have risen in Sudan as the country’s leaders, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (Hemedti), have grown increasingly suspicious of each other. The two leaders jointly carried out a coup in 2021 but their alliance began to fray, raising concerns among the population that the country could be plunged into conflict. Protests against the military and paramilitary junta have continued and a protester was filmed being fatally shot in Khartoum in early March.
As the two leaders escalate their war of words, both attempting to portray themselves as the tribune of the people, locals have found themselves adapting to the growing threat of violence. On 15 April, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), led by Hemedti, bombed the airport in a move that led to an unprecedented confrontation between the army and the paramilitary force. Hemedti first became a nationally known figure after the Sudanese revolution of 2019, which ousted military dictator Omar al-Bashir, and has since captured Sudan’s politics.
According to CNN the Russian paramilitary proxy group, Wagner, is attempting to influence the conflict in Sudan by supporting the Rapid Support Force (RSF) paramilitary group. Russian resupply campaigns, backed by key regional players, are aimed at turning the tide in Sudan’s war in favor of the RSF, who have been a key recipient of Russian training and military aid.
The ongoing conflict in Sudan between two rival military factions has led to over 350 deaths and thousands of people fleeing the capital, Khartoum, in the past week. While some foreign nationals remain trapped in the city, countries such as the US and India are seeking ways to evacuate their citizens. Although a 72-hour ceasefire has been declared for the Eid al-Fitr festival, the Sudanese Army, one of the factions involved, has made no official commitment to observe it. The paramilitary group, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), however, stated that they would honor the ceasefire.
Previous attempts at a ceasefire have not been successful, leading to doubts about the latest one. In response to the situation, the US is deploying its military to evacuate its citizens, while India is engaging in diplomatic efforts to facilitate evacuations. The Indian Embassy in Sudan is working with other countries such as the UK, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia, who may be able to provide support.
Sadly, an American citizen is among the over 400 dead in the ongoing conflict. The US military is preparing for a possible evacuation of American citizens, with additional forces being sent to nearby Djibouti. However, despite the ceasefire, fighting continues and the situation is too dangerous for any evacuation at present. Over 16,000 US citizens are among the 45 million people caught in the crossfire. They are running out of food and medicine, and humanitarian aid has been halted.
President Biden on April 23, ordered the United States military to conduct an operation to extract U.S. Government personnel from Khartoum in response to the situation in Sudan. Leaving many Americans trapped in Sudan.
Furthermore, thirty-nine of Khartoum’s 59 hospitals have been shut down by artillery fire and aerial bombing since the power struggle between the rival military forces first erupted, according to the Sudanese American Physicians Association.
In response to the ongoing conflict, Sudanese in South Florida are organizing to protest the situation in D.C. and New York. The Sudanese American Association President in South Florida, Osman, expressed concern for family members in Sudan and stated that many Sudanese in South Florida are planning to protest.
Meanwhile, the Secretary-General of the Sudanese American Physicians Association, Mohamed Eisa, is appealing for immediate secure and safe passage to healthcare facilities. He is also requesting blood and bags for blood transfusions.
Unconfirmed claims, in a now viral video by one DavidjohnBwakali, suggests the war is a proxy war between Russia and America each represented by two warring group. Others have criticized the claim saying it is excusing the wrongs of the two warring group leaders that should both be held responsible. Sudan had announced it will host Russia’s first navy base in Africa, despite opposition from the West, as soon as the country completed its transition from military to civilian rule.
"The true story of Sudan's current fighting" pic.twitter.com/asGQkQCfNA— P O F V (@itzz_blitz1) April 21, 2023
Despite the claimed ceasefire, the situation remains too dangerous for evacuation, according to a source within the administration. Muhammad Ahmed, an American citizen who had returned to Sudan for his father’s funeral, is now stuck there and unable to leave.
More stories like this are available on theguardian.com, aljazeera.com, CNN.com