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Solution to Sudan crisis remains elusive: Experts

April 17, 2024 at 5:38 pm

Fighters of the Sudan Liberation Movement, a Sudanese rebel group active in Sudan’s Darfur State which supports army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, attend a graduation ceremony in the southeastern Gedaref state on 28 March, 2024. [-/AFP via Getty Images]

A short-term resolution in Sudan, where the army has been fighting paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), is unlikely due to global political dynamics and foreign backing of the paramilitary forces, experts indicated evaluating the crisis in Sudan, Anadolu Agency reports.

Speaking to Anadolu, international relations experts expressed concerns about the ongoing internal conflict in the north-eastern African country, rooted in power-sharing disputes between Sovereignty Council Chairman, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, and his deputy and commander of the RSF, Muhammed Hamdan Dagalo, which erupted on 15 April, 2023.

‘Africa’s new Syria’

Sudan’s internal strife has reached a “stalemate”, resembling a deadlock where no side gains ground, potentially turning Sudan into “Africa’s new Syria,” said Mehmet Ozkan, a member of the International Relations Department at the National Defence University in Ankara.

Ozkan highlighted the impasse, suggesting that a resolution may only emerge if one side achieves military superiority.

READ: Sudan’s humanitarian crisis explained

He raised questions about Sudan’s future governance and territorial integrity in a comprehensive restructuring in the post-conflict era.

With limited international and regional interests in Sudan due to shifting priorities, amid wars in Palestine and Ukraine, Ozkan said: “The crisis in Sudan is becoming deeper and more chronic every day.”

‘It’s uprising against existing military framework’

Former Sudanese ambassador and academic, Sanaa Hamad El-Awad El-Biyli, underscores the magnitude of the humanitarian tragedy unfolding in Sudan, particularly in the capital, Khartoum, and Darfur, where infrastructure, education, health, economy, and social structures face systematic destruction.

Biyli emphasised the plight of millions of displaced people and the horrors they endured.

He said: “But what was worse was the rape of all women, from 6-7-year-old girls to women in the 60s and 70s.”

Biyli highlighted the mass displacement of the non-Arab people, nearly over half of the total population, to neighbouring Chad.

He challenged the characterisation of the conflict merely as a “power struggle”, asserting it’s a “rebellion” against the existing military framework.

Biyli said: “The matter appears to be a repetition of what happened in Iraq after the American invasion, but here it is taking place on a tribal basis not a sectarian basis”, arguing that the RSF is supported by foreign countries such as the US , France, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel.

‘Parties don’t want to reach a compromise’

The conflict in the country has exacerbated economic and social chaos, said Kaan Devecioglu, a North African expert at a think-tank based in Turkiye, stressing the paramount importance of humanitarian aid delivery.

He said: “The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) reports that, while Sudan requires $2.7 billion for humanitarian assistance, the current budget allocation stands at a mere $150 million.”

Devecioglu emphasised that the conflicting parties do not want to reach a compromise and stressed the need to increase diplomatic pressure on them.

’21st-century Mongols’

Describing the unprecedented scale of destruction in Khartoum, Mayada Kemal Eldeen from Tokat Gaziosmanpasa University in northern Turkiye, likened RSF militias’ actions to “21st-century Mongols”, leaving a trail of devastation reminiscent of ancient conquerors.

She underlined that the conflict has plunged Sudan into an “unprecedented” humanitarian crisis, with millions facing famine and displacement, yet prospects for peace remain bleak as long as external support for militias persists.

Eldeen said: “There is no sign yet that the war will end. As long as the UAE continues to support the militias, there is no possibility of an end to the war. This war could last for years.”

READ: UN chief: Political solution ‘only path out’ of Sudan conflict, global push for ceasefire needed