Sudan’s Civil War: World’s Worst Humanitarian Crisis Rages Unchecked

One year into Sudan’s civil war, the conflict shows no signs of abating. The fighting between the Sudanese military and the rival Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has pushed the vast Afro-Arab nation closer to the abyss, with more factions joining the conflict and hopes for a political settlement rapidly diminishing.

The conflict pits the Sudanese military, led by General Abdel Fattah Burhan, against the RSF, commanded by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as Hemedti. The intense power struggle has escalated into a full-blown civil war, transforming parts of Sudan into epicenters of one of the world’s most dire humanitarian crises.

With the war continuing to escalate, the hope for political settlements has significantly diminished. Sudan, rich in natural resources and strategically positioned at the intersection of North Africa, the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, and the Red Sea, finds itself torn apart as both factions fight for control.

Both the Sudanese military and the RSF are backed by tens of thousands of fighters and supported by foreign allies. Their control over significant mineral resources and other economic assets provides them with the financial means to sustain the conflict, making it difficult for international sanctions to have any meaningful impact.

This conflict is a recipe for the kind of prolonged conflict in the regions that has devastated countries like Lebanon, Syria, Libya, and Ethiopia. As Sudan’s internal strife continues, the country moves closer to the brink, with the ongoing war exacerbating an already severe humanitarian catastrophe and leaving the future uncertain.

Foreign Meddling & Global Ramifications

Sudan’s ongoing conflict has become a playground for foreign players, turning the country into a battleground for international interests. Nations like the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Russia, and even Ukrainian special forces have been actively involved, supplying weapons and fighters into the conflict to secure Sudan’s valuable gold resources to gain strategic positions on the Red Sea.

The foreign meddling is frustrating US- and Saudi-led diplomacy to reach a consensus. The conflict threatens to extend beyond Sudan’s borders, already straining Chad’s security services and disrupting vital oil revenues for South Sudan. The war now risks drawing in Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous nation.

Humanitarian Catastrophe

The harrowing scenes of families being killed in front of their children, communities set ablaze, and desperate, hungry people fleeing violence paint a grim picture of Sudan’s current state. As the children’s cries fade away and communities burn, the result is an immense dislocation, hunger, and thirst—a prelude to famine and widespread death.

Since the outbreak of war nearly a year ago, Sudan has plunged into one of the worst humanitarian crises of recent history. Rising food and energy prices have exacerbated inflation, intensifying the hardships faced by its people.

The World Food Programme (WFP) recently highlighted that Sudan is on the brink of becoming the world’s largest hunger crisis. The ongoing conflict has caused unprecedented levels of hunger and violence, with increased attacks by paramilitary groups contributing to the emergency.

Heavy fighting, which erupted last April, has left 18 million people acutely food insecure, including nearly five million grappling with emergency levels of hunger. Sudan’s inability to finance sufficient food imports has exacerbated the crisis. Last year saw staple grain prices double, a trend expected to continue due to another poor harvest.

World’s Biggest Displacement Crisis

The ongoing conflict in Sudan has created the world’s most severe displacement crisis, with nearly 9 million people forced from their homes, according to the United Nations. As the country teeters on the brink of famine, officials warn that hundreds of thousands of children could die in the coming months due to starvation and malnutrition.

The United States estimates that as many as 150,000 people may have been killed since the conflict began. As the violence rages on, millions have been uprooted from their homes, resulting in the largest displacement crisis on the planet.

How Gold Fuels the War in Sudan

Gold is a crucial element driving the brutal conflict in Sudan’s ongoing civil war. The United Nations reports that the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) are heavily relying on revenues from gold mining to finance their devastating campaign against Sudan’s military.

Over the past decade, Sudan has ascended to become Africa’s third-largest producer of gold. However, this rise in gold production has coincided with deepening poverty in the nation.

While the expansion of the gold industry alone does not account for Sudan’s increasing impoverishment, the fierce competition for control over the lucrative resource is intensifying the current conflict.

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