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What is the crisis?

Since 15 April more than 6 million new internal displacements within Sudan and nearly 1.6 million mixed cross-border movements to neighboring countries have been recorded (as of 9 January). Read on to learn more about the current crisis.

SUDAN 3 CTA

On 15 April, prior tensions between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), led by General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), led by General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, escalated into a violent conflict in Khartoum and several other cities across Sudan, leading to nearly 1.6 million mixed cross-border movements to neighbouring countries and more than 6 million new internal displacements within Sudan (IOM, 2024).

 

Background of the current crisis

 

The 2019 Sudanese revolution heralded the fall of Omar al-Bashir's 30-year dictatorship and led to significant political changes in Sudan and the creation of a civil-military government structure. In August 2019, the Sudan Constitutional Declaration was signed, outlining a power-sharing agreement between military and civilian representatives. According to the constitutional declaration, an army led by General Abdel Fattah Burhan and his deputy Lieutenant General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo (known as Hemedti) would rule for the first 21 months. After this first phase, power was to be handed over to a civilian government for the next 18 months to allow a transition to a more democratic system. However, in October 2021, the transitional government was dismantled, and the military became the de-facto government.

The recent fighting in Sudan is said to have been triggered by disagreements and tensions over concluding and negotiating political agreements. The agreement included the integration of the Rapid Assistance Force (RSF) into the country's main military institution, the Sudan National Army (SAF). On 15 April, violent clashes between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces erupted in Khartoum and several other Sudanese cities, when SAF sites in Sudan, including Khartoum and its airport, were attacked by the RSF. In response, the SAF shut down all airports and launched airstrikes on RSF sites.

The clashes between the two sides have continued since 15 April. Despite the implementation of a seven-day ceasefire which started on May 22, fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) persisted in multiple areas, including city of Khartoum, Zalingi, Central Darfur, Al Fasher, North Darfur, and Al Obeid, North Kordofan. On 3 June the ceasefire officially expired.

Since then, the heavy fighting that started in Khartoum has spread to various states across the country, including Aj Jazirah, North Kordofan, and South Darfur, resulting in further displacement and casualties. More than nine months into the conflict,  the humanitarian situation in Sudan is dire. It is expected that half of Sudan's population  – 24.8 million people  – will be in need of humanitarian assistance in 2024 (OCHA, 2024).