Beginning around Friday, April 14, fighting between two rival military factions erupted in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. Humanitarian workers and diplomats have been caught in the crossfire as the Sudanese army battles against the paramilitary group, the Rapid Support Forces, in the streets of the city. Previously, the two factions had cooperation “based on undermining civilian aspirations for democratic rule and rejecting accountability for past crimes, including genocide in Darfur” (Johnson, NPR). They were also responsible for the military coup in 2019. This ended as there were attempts to integrate the RSF into the formal military, and the death toll has climbed up to 180 people so far as airstrikes plague the region.
U.S. involvement may increase after a diplomatic envoy was fired on on Monday, April 17. Antony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State, issued an official warning to both sides that threats to American citizens in the conflict would not be tolerated. The conflict continues to develop quickly and attempts at mediation by the international community and surrounding countries have been unfruitful thus far.
Written by: Program Management Intern, Cindy Tse