The World Has a New War Unfolding, This One in Africa

Power struggle between two generals erupts in Sudan
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2023 7:22 AM CDT
The World Has a New War Unfolding, This One in Africa
Smoke is seen rising from a neighborhood in Khartoum, Sudan, Saturday, April 15, 2023.   (AP Photo/Marwan Ali)

The UN Security Council can't agree on much these days, given that Russia is one of its members, but it can agree on this: Fighting that erupted in Sudan over the weekend must stop before it escalates into full-fledged civil war. The council on Sunday issued a statement that condemns the violence and calls on two rival generals fighting each other to agree to talks, reports the New York Times.

  • At least 56 civilians were killed amid the heavy fighting, mostly in the capital of Khartoum, per the AP. The number of people wounded, including fighters, is estimated to be 600.
  • The power struggle is between two the main factions of the ruling regime that have turned against each other. One is led by Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who leads the army and is "in effect the country's president," according to a BBC explainer. The other faction is a paramilitary group called the Rapid Support Forces, led by Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemedti.

  • The two generals helped oust President Omar Hassan al-Bashir in 2019, per Reuters, and they united to seize power in a 2021 military coup. But tensions between them have been mounting since. The Guardian lays out the stakes: The fighting threatens to destabilize "not just Sudan but much of the region, as well as exacerbating a battle for influence that involves major Gulf powers as well as the US, EU and Russia."
  • Both the military and the RSF have made competing claims of having the upper hand in fighting, and it wasn't clear who was in charge. "We don’t know what’s happening,” a resident near Khartoum’s airport tells the Times by phone. “The battles have not stopped,” rights advocate Tahani Abass tells the AP. “They are shooting against each other in the streets. It’s an all-out war in residential areas.”
(More Sudan stories.)

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