‘Civil war’ fears as RSF attempts coup in Sudan


Fierce clashes broke out April 15 between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), with at least 56 civilians and dozens of fighters reported dead across Sudan. The fighting began in the capital Khartoum, as the RSF attempted to seize control of the presidential palace and international airport. The RSF was driven back from the airport with air-strikes. Fighting quickly spread to other cities, as the two forces attacked each other’s installations and positions. The SAF claims to have taken the main Khartoum RSF base at Karari, as well as the paramilitary force’s bases in the cities of Port Sudan, Kassala, Gedaref, Damazin, Kosti and Kadugli. (Al Jazeera, Radio Dabanga, Sudan Tribune, Jurist, PBS)

On April 16, a three-hour humanitarian ceasefire to evacuate civilians and the wounded was arranged, as the World Food Programme announced that three of its aid workers were among those killed in the fighting. (Jurist)

Tensions had been building over plans to incorporate the RSF into the SAF as a condition of Sudan’s pending democratic transition. The violence broke out just two days after SAF commander Lt. Gen. Abdelfattah El Burhan and RSF commander Lt. Gen. Mohamed “Hemeti” Dagalo had agreed to meet and discuss a de-escalation. (Al Jazeera, BBC News)

The Sudan Policy & Transparency Tracker (STPT) has called for an emergency session of the UN Security Council, warning of an imminent risk of “civil war.” (Sudan Tribune)

The RSF is itself a reconstituted version of the irregular militia network known as the Janjaweed, which was responsible for the Darfur genocide beginning 20 years ago. Former Janjaweed leader Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-al-Rahman, AKA Ali Kushayb, currently faces war crimes charges before the International Criminal Court.

Map: PCL

  1. Sudan forces agree to 24-hour ceasefire

    Leaders of the two warring factions in Sudan on April 19 agreed to a 24-hour ceasefire after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called both sides. Blinken called after Sudanese forces fired at a US diplomatic convoy. (Jurist)