A City Divided
Bustling, beautiful, and home to over five million Sudanese residents, a shroud of smoke and gunpowder settled over the city of Khartoum on the morning of Saturday, April 15th.
Over the past few days, a bitter, violent conflict between two military groups has significantly escalated, causing the consequences of the combat to spill over into civilian life. Forced to choose between imprisonment in their own homes, or to attempt to flee amidst the danger, the primary victims of the fighting have not been armed militants, but the innocent citizens of Sudan being caught in the crossfire. According to a CBS article published early on Wednesday morning, it is being reported that the death toll in Sudan has risen to over 270 individuals, with thousands more injured and still facing imminent threats from the clash. Those who remain trapped in Khartoum, specifically, are taking refuge in their homes, not only because of the danger posed by shells and bombs but because of the callous nature of these two militant forces operating in the streets. An article published by NPR relayed the story of a woman being shot dead in the street for trying to leave her home and protect her children. Like so much conflict in the modern world, the catalyst for this civil war has been political unrest. Two years ago, the government of Sudan was overthrown by a group of generals, who have since ruled the nation collectively. Two of these men, the respective leaders of the national army and the RSF (Rapid Support Force), an enormous group resembling the military, are at the core of this conflict. Having disagreed on many logistical and tactical decisions, the slowly eroding amity between these two entities collapsed on Saturday with the initial gunshots in Khartoum. Around the globe, protesters of the conflict have called for a ceasefire, which was to be attempted on Tuesday. Although both sides agreed to a twenty-four-hour truce of non-violence, within minutes of this supposed respite from the battle, bullets pierced through the air, effectively terminating any semblance of peace. Now, going on six days of fighting, families trapped in the battle-ravaged streets of Khartoum are beginning to run out of food, water, and medication, and without any safe means of ascertaining these necessities, the humanitarian crisis that has already been catalyzed by these events will continue to become exceedingly more dire. With such extensive media coverage and the steady influx of international attention and aid, there is hope that soon, an intervention will mitigate any further damage being caused by what appears to be the beginning of a civil war.
Ochieng, Beverly. “Sudan: Why Has Fighting Broken out There?” BBC News, BBC, 17 Apr. 2023, www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-65284948.
Bartlett, Kate. “Residents in Khartoum Live in Fear and Desperation as Fighting Rages On.” NPR, NPR, 19 Apr. 2023, www.npr.org/2023/04/19/1170838123/sudan-khartoum-fighting.
Patta, Debora, et al. “Sudan Ceasefire Fails as Death Toll in Battle between Rival Generals for Control over the Country Nears 300.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 19 Apr. 2023, www.cbsnews.com/news/sudan-ceasefire-news-death-toll-as-rival-generals-war/.