Inside Sudan’s Ongoing Conflict: What You Need to Know – What’s Behind the Fighting in Sudan?
The ongoing conflict in Sudan between the military and Rapid Support Forces is destabilizing the country and the Horn of Africa. Violent clashes erupted on Saturday in Khartoum and other strategic locations throughout the country, with both sides vying for control of major institutions. The confrontation pits the de-facto leader of Sudan, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, against his deputy, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as “Hemetti.” Both leaders had previously worked together to topple the al-Bashir regime in 2019 and orchestrate a military coup in October 2021. However, questions emerged over how the RSF would be integrated into the SAF and who would assume leadership of the newly consolidated military. Negotiations to resolve these issues stalled, and tensions between al-Burhan and Hemetti rose, leading to the current violence. The fighting is a struggle over power in the security sector and the exercise of power in the state. The timing and sequencing of the integration of the RSF forces in the SAF and the command structure are the main sticking points. Both sides were anticipating a confrontation, with the RSF deploying large numbers of armed men into Khartoum and the SAF deploying tanks and heavy weapons. The fighting is different from previous civil wars in Sudan, as the SAF is fighting a paramilitary force that was created by the Bashir regime. The violence has already spread to other areas of Sudan and risks civilian casualties and further conflict. Efforts to secure a ceasefire are ongoing, but the outbreak of violence threatens to weaken Sudan’s already fragile stability and undermine peace in the broader Horn of Africa region.
Inside Sudan’s Ongoing Conflict: What You Need to Know