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The Morgan PawPrint

The Student News Site of The Morgan School

The Morgan PawPrint

The Student News Site of The Morgan School

The Morgan PawPrint

Sudan: No More Indifference

West and UK Failed Sudanese People
Sudans flag with pictures of the humanitarian crisis
Vivian Nguyen
Sudan’s flag with pictures of the humanitarian crisis

Within Sudan, a poverty-stricken country in North Africa, war is no stranger. According to Al Jazeera reporter, Areesha Lodhi, a struggle for power between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and paramilitary (an unofficial armed force) Rapid Support Forces (RSF) resulted in the death of approximately 16,000 people since a more than one-year-long war that started on April 15, 2023.

The SAF is the national army of Sudan and is made up of about 300,000 soldiers led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. However, the war in Sudan that displaced millions has a long history of other wars and genocides. As mentioned in Lodhi’s article, “Diplomatic efforts have failed to put an end to the crisis, which experts have said was partially triggered by an internationally backed plan to merge the RSF into the army.” Army chief al-Burhan and RSF commander Mohamed Hamdan “Hemedti” Dagalo initiated a coup in 2021, and Omar al-Bashir, President of Sudan for almost 30 years, was overthrown. This power struggle reached a violent turning point after a battle on April 15 in Khartoum, which landed both the SAF and RSF in a firing match.

The war affected the country by disintegrating infrastructure systems like healthcare and sanitation. As a result, the death count does not account for all people killed, and millions were displaced. Of Sudan’s 49 million population, approximately 1.8 million people escaped its borders to Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, and South Sudan through much strife. These countries are not safe either. Those who flee must choose the country that gives them the best chance of saving themselves. The article reports that 6.5 million people, at the least, are displaced internally throughout Sudan’s 18 states. Unsurprisingly, more than half of the displaced are from Khartoum state. The same soil that the SAF and RSF fought on over control of the state and its resources. The conflict reached another breaking point when the two groups refused to accept their shared power after the internationally backed Framework Agreement in December 2022 appeared. It aimed to integrate the RSF into the army to reform the security sector and adjust democratic values. The army proposed the integration in two years, and the RSF was firm in ten years.

Humanitarian Crisis
Sudan’s internal dilemmas are saddening, given that there could be much more done. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that over a third of Sudan’s population is currently facing acute food insecurity, which means they are at risk of a potential famine, according to FEWS NET and the Global IPC Group. The OCHA said of the 17.7 million people, 4.9 million are on the verge of a famine. The links in the text of this article and at the bottom of this section will provide more detailed statistics about the humanitarian crisis in Sudan.

Janjaweed, also directly translated to “devils on horseback” in Sudanese Arabic, was an Arab militia group in Sudan. They were responsible for committing most of the horrors during the Darfur Genocide. The Darfur Genocide killed non-Arabs, and was when the RSF was created. The purpose of the RSF was driven by al-Bashir’s desire to enforce government authority, and elimate any rebellion. Nashed, a writer for Al Jazeera, said they “had impunity to kill, rape and plunder ‘non-Arabs,’ often supported by the army’s indiscriminate aerial bombardment.” They operated in Darfur and Kordofan in western Sudan. Three years later, the Janjaweed was rebranded as the RSF by Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s former president. This militia group was formed due to the government’s distrust of the armed forces, mainly from Darfur, and is, therefore, government-backed.

An article from March 20, 2024, reported that about 18 million Sudanese are burdened with acute food insecurity, and around 730,000 children are suffering from severe malnutrition. Furthermore, approximately 16,000 people, including military personnel, have been killed since. This information comes from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED). However, it is a significant undercount because of how difficult it is to collect accurate and real-time data during war. Data from the UNHCR, a UN refugee agency, accounted for about 4,000 civilians killed and 8,400 injured in Darfur in October 2023.

Collage of Contextual Images in Sudan

What is being done?
The humanitarian crisis in Sudan is one of the world’s largest and has been for decades. The causes are intercommunal conflicts over oil revenue, the climate crisis causing dreadful droughts, and heavy rainfall that led to flooding. Sudan’s oil is responsible for 90 percent of South Sudan’s revenue, as reported by the World Bank in 2022. The critical oil pipeline was damaged in February, and according to expert on South Sudan’s International Crisis Group, Alan Boswell, “The pipeline accounts for two-thirds or three-quarters of oil revenues. Unless South Sudan is able to get the pipeline working again, it will be a massive pull on South Sudan’s budget.” There was already corruption regarding the destinations of the funds from oil proceeds. The production is overseen by the office of President Salva Kiir, who is convicted of corruption because of the diverted money he handled.

Al Jazeera Journalist Amitabh Behar said, “in Paris, donors pledged $2bn to support millions of people in Sudan and in host countries. Although this is most welcome, it is only half of the $4.1bn needed to give people their next meal and what they need to survive and rebuild their lives.” On Monday, April 15, 2024, European diplomats met in France regarding the war in Sudan. European countries are funding humanitarian aid, and Germany provided $260 million for the exact cause.

Economic, humanitarian, and governmental catastrophes will continue, forcing the Sudanese civilians into a corner that the world should not ignorantly discard. By being informed, educated, and empathetic, journalists and others can support those who are suffering from silent genocides and wars.

Websites/Links for more information

After a year of war in Sudan, what is the situation now? By Areesha Lodhi, April 11, 2024

Birth, death, escape: Three women’s struggle through Sudan’s war By Mat Nashed, April 15, 2024

Europe pledges to boost aid to Sudan on unwelcome war anniversary By Al Jazeera, April 15, 2024

Sudan: A savage war and toxic information battle By Al Jazeera’s Listening Post, April 27, 2024

Sudan’s paramilitary RSF accused of ‘ethnic cleansing’ in West Darfur By Al Jazeera, May 9, 2024

Use of fire as weapons in Sudan war surged last month, study finds By Al Jazeera, May 13, 2024

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About the Contributor
Vivian Nguyen
Vivian Nguyen, Public Relations Editor
Hello, my name is Vivian Nguyen, and I am a sophomore for the class of 2026. This is my first year taking Journalism, and I am looking forward to collaborating with friends and classmates to construct satisfactory articles. My major interests right now are the sciences, reading, and making jewelry. I am with much anticipation hoping to engage and be involved in Morgan this year.

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