Sudan political unrest

The United Nations said more than 400 people have been killed and more than 3,500 injured in the fighting. Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and the European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell discussed the ongoing conflict in Sudan and the latest regional and international developments in a phone call on Sunday, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Sudan

Thousands of people are fleeing Khartoum and the western region of Darfur to seek refuge in neighboring Chad. Widespread food, water and electricity shortages continue.

Sudan Doctor Union: 

The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors and Sudan’s Doctors Union estimated that nearly 70 percent or 39 out of 59 hospitals, in Khartoum and nearby states have closed.

Reports of the worst violence have come from Darfur. A UN update on Saturday said looters had taken at least 10 World Food Program vehicles and six other food trucks after overrunning the agency’s offices and warehouses in Nyala in South Darfur.

The aid group Doctors Without Borders appealed for safe passage. “We need ports of entry where we can bring specialist trauma staff and medical supplies,” said Abdalla Hussein, Sudan operations manager for the medical charity.

More than 150 students from the International University of Africa in Khartoum arrived in the southeastern city of Gadarif so they can be evacuated to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, according to government sources.

In the city of Darduk, north of Khartoum, people held rallies to demand an end to hostilities.

Internet service is nearly entirely down in Sudan, according to the organization Net Blocks.

Diplomacy:

France began to evacuate its citizens and diplomatic staff from Sudan.

The US military evacuated US embassy staff from Khartoum, President Joe Biden said late on Saturday as he called for an end to the “unconscionable” fighting between the army and the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group.

Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra announced that the Netherlands has also joined an international effort to evacuate its citizens from Sudan.

The UK said it is “integrated” into the operations of international partners to evacuate staff.

Saudi Arabia evacuated Gulf citizens from Port Sudan on the Red Sea. Jordan plans to use the same route to evacuate its nationals.

Saudi, EU top diplomats discuss Sudan conflict: https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2023/04/23/Saudi-EU-top-diplomats-discuss-Sudan-conflict

South Korea said a military plane is in Djibouti and arrangements will be made to evacuate its nationals from Sudan.

Is Sudan facing Civil war? 

The army said on Friday evening it agreed to a three-day truce to enable people to celebrate the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr. Its adversary, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), said earlier in the day it had agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire, also to mark Eid.

Gunfire crackled without pause all day, punctuated by the thud of artillery and air raids. Drone footage showed plumes of smoke across Khartoum and its Nile sister cities of Omdurman and Bahri – together one of Africa’s biggest urban areas.

The fighting has killed hundreds, mainly in Khartoum and the west of Sudan, tipping the continent’s third-largest country – where about a quarter of people already relied on food aid – into a humanitarian disaster.

With the airport caught in the fighting and the skies unsafe, nations including the United States, Japan, South Korea, Germany and Spain have been unable to evacuate embassy staff.

In Washington, DC, the US State Department said without elaborating that one US citizen in Sudan had been killed. The White House said no decision had been made yet to evacuate US diplomatic personnel but it was preparing for such an eventuality if it became necessary.

At least five aid workers have been killed, including three from the World Food Program, which has since suspended its Sudan operation – one of the world’s largest food aid missions.

A worker at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) was killed in the city of El-Obeid on Friday after his vehicle was hit by crossfire as he tried to move his family to safety.

Humanitarian issues in Sudan: 

The World Health Organization said at least 413 people have been killed and thousands injured, with hospitals under attack and up to 20,000 people fleeing to neighboring Chad.

“An increasing number of people are running out of food, water, and power, including in Khartoum,” the UN humanitarian office said.

Sudan borders seven countries and sits between Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Africa’s volatile Sahel region. The hostilities risk fanning regional tensions.

The violence was triggered by disagreement over an internationally backed plan to form a new civilian government four years after the fall of former leader Omar al-Bashir to mass protests, and two years after a military coup.

Both sides accuse the other of thwarting the transition.

Read More about Uzbekistan constitutional reforms: https://youthdiplomacyforum.com/2023/04/09/uzbekistan-constitutional-reforms/

The Doom Scenario: 

Hemedti is also vulnerable from within his own ranks – and tribe. The top RSF brass consists of senior officers from the Arab Rizeigat tribe, which hails from Darfur. However, many local leaders in the tribe are suspected to have a greater loyalty towards Musa Hilal, a local sheikh and former Janjaweed leader.

Hilal is a rival of Hemedti. After relations soured between the former and the government, al-Bashir empowered Hemedti to undercut Hilal. In 2017, the RSF was tasked with arresting him and capturing a gold mine he and his supporters controlled in Darfur.

Hilal was eventually released from prison thanks to a pardon by the civilian-military transitional government in March 2021, six months before the coup.

Hilal’s whereabouts are now unknown, but he has his own militia and many supporters in the Rizeigat.  He is also suspected to have loyalists in RSF.

“The observation people are making is the possible disintegration of the RSF from within. The reading is that a lot of Rizeigat fighters would consider allying against Hemedti and with Musa Hilal,” said Anette Hoffmann, a Sudan expert with the Clingendael Institute, an independent think tank in The Hague.

“This is just one component of the doom scenario. Civil war along ethnic lines with regional destabilisation and further disintegration of the RSF, rather than us having two homogenous blocs with clear territorial control,” she added.

There have already been reports of Egypt stepping up support for al-Burhan, while Libya’s eastern commander Khalifa Haftar has sent at least three planes filled with military aid to the RSF. Ironically, Egypt is one of Haftar’s main backers in Libya.

Unexpected travel content: 

El-Badawy, who arrived in Khartoum a week before the outbreak, is now trapped as flights have been halted from Khartoum’s airport, nowa warzone where several aircraft have been destroyed.

The violence has killed at least 413 people and wounded more than 3,550, according to the World Health Organization. The Sudanese Doctors Union says 70 percent of hospitals in Sudan are out of service.

Despite the uncertainty and fear, El-Badawy continued to post some updates for his followers and says he would not have changed a thing about his travel to Sudan which, like his homeland, straddles the Nile River.

El-Badawy chose Sudan as his 60th destination. “I wanted it to be a special one, so I chose Sudan,” he said by phone from Khartoum.

El-Badawy, who has hundreds of thousands of followers on YouTube and Instagram, takes pride in showcasing daily life and the people of each country, especially in the Arab world, a region that global media covers mostly in terms of war and conflict rather than its people, rich history and diverse cultures.

 

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