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Friday, December 22, 2023

Statement on the Ongoing Sudan Crisis

Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands are fleeing or evacuating for safety amid intense clashes taking place between the Sudan’s military, led by General Abdel Fattah-al-Burhan (also the de facto ruler of Sudan), and Sudan’s main paramilitary force, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

After gaining independence on 01 January,1956, civil war broke out between the North and South Sudan due to alleged incompetent governance and massive religious conflicts (the Islamic North versus the Christians in South), which led to South Sudan separating as an independent nation. Up until then, Omar Hassan Ahmed-al-Bashir had been the ruler of Sudan and showed dictatorial tendencies. In 2013, RSF was officially formed through the restructuring and reactivation of Janjaweed militias, who were used by the Sudanese government to fight anti-government insurgencies during a rebellion in Dafur.

In 2018, large-scale protests started demanding the removal of al-Bashir from power. In 2019, the RSF led by its leader Hemedti, and the regular military forces under General Burhan cooperated to oust Bashir in a military coup. Then came the question of who would eventually rule Sudan. For a short period, the transition to democracy looked hopeful, but that was also interrupted by a coup in October 2021. The section of Sudan that has been most impacted and devastated by all this power struggle is the civilian population, while the fighting between the RSF and Sudan’s military forces continues.

Sudan’s geography has become its biggest curse. Owing to its strategic location (bordering the Red Sea, the Sahel region, and the Horn of Africa) and agricultural wealth, major geo-political dimensions come into play with various powers battling for their influence in Sudan, as whoever controls this region controls more than 10% of global trade.

It is unfortunate for the innocent Sudanese, who have been fleeing to neighbouring countries on a massive scale, to have been caught between such intense geo-political and geo-economic tangents. India, with its ‘Operation Kaveri’, has evacuated more than 3000 Indians and other countries’ citizens from Sudan. We, at Red Lantern Analytica, regret such an incidence and wish for peace to reach Sudan soon.

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