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Explaining the conflict in Sudan

The conflict in Sudan began on April 15, 2023, and does not seem to be ceasing anytime soon, unfortunately.

This conflict originates from a power feud between the Armed Forces leader, General Abdel Fattah al Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) leader, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo. The two leaders worked together in 2019 but are currently creating a war resulting from oppositional perspectives on how the country should be run.

Since the military coup in 2021, General Abdel Fattah al Burhan has become the (unofficially recognised) head of state in Sudan. Since then, Al Burhan has promised to assist the country to transition to civilian rule.


The cause of the conflict:

This dispute originated from debates surrounding the RSF’s integration into the military. It has long been debated how, and when, this transition should take place. The two Generals disagreed on when this integration should take place, with the Armed Forces’ opting for a two-year transition, whilst the RSF’s general wants the transition to take 10 years.

This conflict centres around the debate of who deserves control over Sudan, and who should be the Commander-in-Chief of the military during this transitional period. According to political commentators and activists, this war is resulting from a power struggle over control of the country (Aljazeera).

The conflict started at a military base just outside of Khartoum, on Saturday 15th April 2023. Although, both the Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces state that they didn’t initiate these attacks and that it was the fault of the other group. 

Within the first three days of this conflict, 185 people were killed and thousands of people were injured. On Friday 21st April 2023, The World Health Organisation (WHO) claimed that the death toll in Sudan had risen to 413, with an additional 3,551 people being injured in Sudan since the violence began.

James Elder, a UNICEF spokesperson, has said that out of the above statistics, over nine children have been killed, and that over 50 children have been injured since the fighting began (Reuters).

However, on Monday 24th April 2023, it became publicised that there are 4,000 UK citizens currently trapped in Sudan. These foreign nationals are stranded in this war-torn country whilst intense fighting takes place. Despite Britain’s prior inactivity with the conflict in Sudan, Britain has now acted to ensure its citizen’s safety. Britain has plans to send two warships into Sudan to retrieve the UK citizens who are currently stranded there.


Andrew Mitchell, the Minister for International Development and Africa, recited a speech in the House of Commons regarding this current conflict. This speech took place on Monday 24th April 2023 and serves as an update on the government’s response to the Sudanese conflict. Mitchell provided this oral statement to parliament on behalf of the government and the foreign secretary. According to GOV UK, Mitchell claimed that:

      “The situation in Sudan is extremely grave. More than 427 people have been killed, including 5 aid workers. Over 3,700 people have been injured.”

      “We now estimate that approximately 16 million people – a third of the Sudanese population – are in need of humanitarian assistance.”


Sudan’s capital city, Khartoum, remains the heart of this conflict. Many citizens are unable to access water or electricity whilst they are stranded in their homes.

News emerged that the military deployed troops to the capital on Friday, leading to shootouts between army forces and paramilitaries.

The RSF attempted to call a ceasefire for 72 hours during the Muslim holiday of Eid al Fitr. This ceasefire was supposed to begin at 6 am on Friday, but instead, residents’ heard the sounds of rapid gunfire.


The Sudan Doctor’s Union has stated that 70% of hospitals in and around Sudan have been greatly impacted by the effects of the war and are now out of use. Some of these hospitals have been attacked, whilst others have evacuated and suspended their service. According to WHO, there have been eleven attacks on the country’s health facilities.

A few hospitals in Sudan remain open and in use despite the attacks surrounding the facility. The hospitals that remain open are suffering from shortages in staff, medicine, food, and power due to the fighting that’s occurring.

In the city of El Obeid (Darfur), a few hospitals have been severely damaged and have had to close. The Sudan Doctor’s Union has urged international organisations to establish humanitarian corridors for those seeking shelter from this violence.



I want to thank my editor for all his counsel and assistance with my writing and editing. I am very appreciative of all the help that he has provided, which has allowed my articles to come to life. His account on ‘The Social Talks’ is linked below:

Adedamola Aregbesola

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Tags: #politics #news #government #US #UK #war #policy #sustainability #conflict #climate #sudan


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