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Explained: What is happening in Sudan that has led to the displacement of 8 million people?

Sudan, an underdeveloped country in Africa has for decades been battling with internal power struggles between different groups/militias. This has resulted in the displacement of 8 million Sudanese people from their homeland.

Explained: What is happening in Sudan that has led to the displacement of 8 million people? Avv
First Published Jan 31, 2024, 7:15 PM IST

Sudan has been gripped with violence and infighting for decades due to the power tussle at the top. Hundreds of thousands have been killed so far while millions have been displaced due to the conflict. Despite the separation of Sudan and South Sudan, the conflict has remained intact.

The latest report from the UN suggests that 8 million people from the country were forced to leave their homes for the safety of all family members and themselves. The Darfur conflict which was allegedly created by the previous dictatorial ruler Omar Al-Bashar has had far-reaching effects on today's Sudan.

What caused the humanitarian crisis in Sudan? 

Sudan witnessed one of its most violent periods a couple of decades ago when rebels, pro-establishment forces, military, and government were involved in the Darfur region in Western Sudan. Omar Al-Bashar brought the successful militia leaders from the conflict to the capital and funded them for protection. The dictator feared a coup and gathered all kinds of defenses.

However, the conditions of civilians under the rule of Omar Al-Bashar deteriorated without any change. People frustrated with the stagnation and lack of development took to the streets and marched against the dictatorship. Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) who were bodyguard-iske groups stood with Omar Al-Bashar. Rapid Support Forces head Hemeti was provided with gold mines in Darfur.

The Sudanese Armed Forces were provided with resources. The forces were involved in the smuggling of weapons and earned their extra profits. However, in a twist of fate that shocked not only Omar Al-Bashar but also the common people of Sudan, the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) came together and ousted Bashar in April 2019.

This brought temporary relief among the common people who celebrated the outset like a major victory with hope in their eyes. Sudanese Armed Forces’ most powerful man Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Rapid Support Forces head Hemeti promised change to the people. However, the two friends soon became enemies in lieu of power and another wave of conflict engulfed the nation.

Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces took their fight to every corner of Sudan which contributed to heavy civilian casualties. Sudanese Armed Forces had fine weaponry stock while Rapid Support Forces with gold mines control brought many mercenaries to fight the battle. Efforts from regional and international powers brought the two rivals together but mistrust has taken over once again among Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Hemeti presenting a likelihood of another wave of bloodshed conflict.

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