2023 Sudan Conflict
Sudan has been engulfed in a violent conflict between its military and paramilitary forces since April this year. The ongoing battle has led to at least 420 deaths, with many more injured and displaced.
The Conflict Begins
The conflict began on April 15, 2023, when the military and paramilitary forces clashed in the capital city of Khartoum. The unrest was sparked by the growing ambition of Rapid Support Force (RSF) head, Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who sought to lead Sudan. His ambition put him at odds with Army chief Lt Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, leading to a fallout between the two.
The Janjaweed Militias
To understand the origins of the conflict, it is important to look at the Janjaweed militias. The Janjaweed militias were first armed and organized in the early 1980s by the Sudanese government. Their main purpose was to help the government expand its influence in neighboring civil-war-torn Chad.
The militias gained global prominence in 2003 when they were accused of committing genocide in Darfur. The conflict between 2003 and 2008 resulted in an estimated 300,000 deaths. The United States government, led by President George Bush, declared the violence in Darfur as “genocide” in 2007.
Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo and the Rapid Support Forces
Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as Hemetti, became the head of the Rapid Support Forces in 2013. Since then, the RSF has expanded its political and economic influence by partnering with the Russian mercenary Wagner Group to mine the vast gold reserves in Sudan.
With an estimated number of fighters ranging from 70,000 to 150,000, the RSF holds a significant position in Sudan. The increasing influence and power of the RSF, combined with the aspirations of Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (Hemetti) to lead Sudan, have created a rift between him and Army chief Lt Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, ultimately resulting in the ongoing conflict.
Category: International / World Current Affairs