In Sudan, a month of war with no end
Prior to the war, Sudan was mired in political and economic recession. After a month of fighting between the soldiers of two generals vying for power, the country threatens to sink and the neighbors themselves are in trouble.
The fighting between the army led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane and the paramilitary forces of General Mohamed Hamdan Dagallo left more than 750 dead, thousands wounded and nearly a million displaced and refugees.
In this country of 45 million inhabitants, one of the poorest in the world, the population lives in fear and hunger.
In Khartoum and Darfur (West), some go out to buy food for fear of bullets.
And a third of the population that relied on international food aid is now bereft of it: it has been looted or cut off after 18 aid workers died.
Elsewhere, money is short because banks, some of which were looted, have not opened since April 15, or because prices have soared: quadrupled for food or 20-fold for petrol.
Barricaded in their homes without water or electricity, Khartoum’s 5 million residents await an imaginary ceasefire amid airstrikes, heavy weapons and artillery shelling – even in homes and hospitals.
– “impunity” –
In Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the two sides are negotiating a “humanitarian” ceasefire to evacuate civilians and help.
But they agreed only on the principle of respect for the laws of war, leaving the question of cessation of hostilities for later “detailed discussion”.
For researcher Eli Verge, “if the two camps do not change their way of thinking, it is difficult to imagine a translation based on commitments on paper”.
Because experts and diplomats repeat it: each of the two generals thinks “to be able to win militarily”, thanks to large numbers and foreign support. General Daglo is a great ally of the United Arab Emirates as well as, according to the US Treasury, Wagner’s Russian mercenary, while Egypt’s great neighbor weighs his entire weight behind Burhan.
So both men are more interested in a protracted conflict than in concessions at the negotiating table.
Alex Rondos, former EU representative for the Horn of Africa, said, “The army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) violate the ceasefire with regularity, which shows a degree of impunity that even by Sudanese standards of the conflict is higher.” ,
Struggles, Sudan knows them. In Darfur, repression of ethnic minorities by military and paramilitary forces under the dictatorship of Omar al-Bashir (1989–2019) killed 300,000 people in the 2000s.
Everyone out there shoots everyone now: the military, paramilitary, tribal fighters and even armed civilians. “We’ve been told snipers are shooting anyone who comes out of their homes,” Mohamed Osman of Human Rights Watch (HRW) told AFP. Trapped, “People injured in the fight two weeks ago are dying at home”
Médecins sans frontières (MSF) points out that in camps for those displaced by the Darfur war, “people have gone from three meals a day to just one”.
– Migration and deindustrialization –
Thousands of refugees enter Egypt, Chad, Ethiopia and South Sudan every day because of the conflict. Egypt, which is going through the worst economic crisis in its history, is worried. Other neighboring countries are afraid of infection.
Khartoum no longer has an airport or diaspora – all evacuated in a crush during the first days of the war – or shopping centers – they have been looted.
The administration is closed “until further notice” and the two generals express themselves only through the media to speak against each other.
The remnants of the administration have retreated to Port Sudan (850 kilometers to the east), escaping violence and where a small UN team is trying to negotiate the delivery of humanitarian aid.
“By destroying agro-food factories or small industries, this war has caused a partial deindustrialization of Sudan,” Varji told AFP. “The Sudan of the future will still be poor and for a long time”.