Understanding Sudan's fierce conflict

Sudan is currently facing a growing humanitarian crisis as a result of intense military clashes between two rival generals. Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, who leads the Sudanese military, and Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, who leads the Rapid Support Forces, a paramilitary group, are fighting for power while millions of civilians who have made their support for a democratic government clear are caught in between. As the conflict escalates, thousands of people are fleeing the region to neighboring countries, including South Sudan, Chad, Ethiopia, and Egypt.

The ongoing violence has already cost the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians, and President Joe Biden has called for it to stop, describing it as "unconscionable." The United States has evacuated its embassy in Khartoum, and other countries are following suit, including the United Kingdom and France.

The conflict represents a power struggle between the two generals, who have been sharing power since 2021 when they carried out a military coup. Prior to that, Burhan had been leading alongside a civilian prime minister who rose to the government's seat after a revolution ousted the nation's dictator, Omar al-Bashir, in 2019. The conflict erupted as the nation was poised to transition fully to democratic power, which presented a threat to military forces whose own power would have been diluted.

Efforts to calm the tensions have not been successful, with the bitter rivalry exploding in gunfire on April 15. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced that the two sides had agreed to a three-day ceasefire after about 48 hours of negotiations.

About 16,000 private American citizens are currently in Sudan, most of whom are either aid workers or Sudanese Americans. As the conflict continues to escalate, the international community is closely monitoring the situation and calling for an end to the violence.


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