Sudan Civil War Ravages One Year On, Millions Displaced

Amid a civil conflict in Sudan, hundreds have died, and millions have been displaced; without relief, the nation is suffering from starvation and illness.

According to the United Nations, with a Sudanese population of almost 25 million, this is one of the worst humanitarian disasters in recent history.

After a 2019 revolution deposed dictator Omar al-Bashir, the army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) forcibly removed people from a power-sharing deal, sparking an abrupt and long-awaited conflict. The RSF swiftly seized control of Khartoum once their collaboration ended in April of last year, plundering, assaulting, and killing residents.

Despite forming the RSF from the relics of the notorious Janjaweed forces it collaborated with in Darfur to quell the insurgency, the army has not been successful in defeating its offspring. This has created an unstable scenario in which both sides have had victories and losses, there is no clear frontline, and millions of Sudanese people are caught in the midst of it all.

So far, citizens’ homes, livelihoods, and lives have been collateral damage in this battle, which is more than simply a civil war. The first tragedy involves a nation that has preserved its identity in the face of oppression and war, while the second depicts a nation that has done the same in the face of ethnic tensions that have led to bloodshed.

While conflict might have been avoided, it escalated due to a centralization-based economic paradigm in which powerful groups exploited and exploited others on the periphery. A small group of selfish people have always been Sudan’s Achilles’ heel. Displacement and widespread dispossession ensued as word of individual losses traveled nationwide.

Despite the dire humanitarian situation, the security risk of the war’s spread, and the involvement of self-serving, malicious actors like the United Arab Emirates—which is supporting the RSF and prolonging the war’s duration—the world has looked at this “forgotten war” with apathy.

After a year of tragedy, the Sudanese people have found solace in the collapse of infrastructure, the creation of communal kitchens, the pooling of resources, and the repurposing of resistance committees to provide food, shelter, and medical treatment. This is a poignant reminder that a nation is more of a spirit than a physical location and that no violence can put a spirit out of existence.