Conflicts in Sudan have erupted between the army and the main paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), killing hundreds of people, including civilians. Since severe fighting erupted in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, more than thousands of people, including combatants, have been injured. 

What Is Happening? 

The riots occurred amid an apparent power struggle between Sudan’s military regime’s two main groups.

Deafening explosions and fierce gunfire shook buildings in Khartoum’s densely populated northern and southern suburbs, witnesses said, as tanks were visible on the streets and fighter jets roared overhead. 

An eyewitness described the violence in Kharkoum as sounding like a “thunderstorm”. While, an American tourist Lakshmi Parthasarathy said, “We woke up and went outside, there were fighter jets. There’s just a lot of chaos going on. There was smoke everywhere.” 

According to Reuters, two company insiders reported that Sudan’s MTN telecommunications operator was instructed by the government telecommunications regulator to prohibit internet access nationally. 

Also Read: Sudan Criminalises Female Genital Mutilation After More Than 100 Years Of Practice

What Led To These Violent Clashes? 

Following the deposition of President Omar al-Bashir in October 2021, the Sudanese army and the RSF have been jointly governing the country. They even formed a Sovereign Council, co-headed by RSF Chief General Mohamed Hamdan and commanded by Army Chief General Abdel al-Burhan. 

The Sudanese army proposed integrating RSF into itself within two years, but RSF was not ready. The army is likewise in favor of handing up authority to a civilian government.  Notably, RSF head Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo claims to have seized control of the majority of official sites in Khartoum.  

After a day of fierce fighting, the army reportedly hit a facility in Omdurman, a city bordering the capital Khartoum. Both parties claimed important infrastructure in Khartoum. 

Meanwhile, political factions are talking with the RSF and the military, which are competing for control, in order to construct a transitional government following a military coup in 2021. Fighting erupted as a result of rising tensions over the RSF’s military enrollment. 

What Lies Ahead? 

Clashes in Sudan have trapped at least 31 Karnataka tribals in the Sudanese city of El-Fasher.S Prabhu, and it is a cause for concern for India.

A resident of Channagiri in Karnataka’s Davanagere district told The Indian Express that they haven’t left their house in four or five days and that there have been continuous bombings and shell assaults in their neighbourhood.  

“We are trapped inside a rented house with no access to food and drinking water facilities. Gunfire and shelling can be heard in the background. Nobody is responding to our problem and we are not sure how we will return to India,” he said.

Sudan’s journey to democracy is expected to be hampered by the conflict between the army and the RSF. Some experts fear that the disagreement may escalate into a larger conflict that would lead to the country’s demise. 

As Sudan struggles with economic collapse and ethnic turmoil, a protracted conflict might stymie efforts to move toward elections and cause widespread unrest. Following the overthrow of the Hamdok government, billions of dollars in international aid and debt relief were frozen. 

“This is a pivotal moment in the history of our country. This is a conflict that no one will win, and it will forever destroy our country,” stated a coalition of civilian organizations advocating for Sudan’s transition to democracy.

Image Credits: Google Images

Feature image designed by Saudamini Seth

Sources: Indian Express, WION, Guardian 

Find the blogger: Palak Dogra

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