Sudanese women chant slogans during a rally on April 13, 2019. Despite the threat of sexual violence, Sudanese women have been at the frontlines of the country's many uprisings. [Getty]
The Crisis in Sudan: How Does Dissolving Civilian Government Damage Stability In The Country? How Is The International Committee Responding To This Conflict?
Written by: Alexa Dominique Pascual
In 2019, the arrival of President Omar al-Bashir in Sudan created a political transition of a coalition between the military and the Forces of Freedom and Change, which is a group that supports the coalition of civilian and rebel groups. This group is responsible for the impeachment of President Omar al-Bashir and led protests against military rule. One of the group’s main agendas is to conduct a civilian government to have the ability to have regular people be involved in contradicting the government’s strategies. The group, however, did establish a government that could potentially lead the country to become a democracy and a government led by civilians. Unfortunately, because of the conflict between leaders, civilian and military agendas are now dissolved, and disunity increased, causing citizens to suffer from violence. This caused chaos in their environment, leading to more instability among government officials, which affected the livelihood of its fellow citizens. This escalated tension between two rival generals competing to gain control over their nation, which sacrificed the lives of citizens because the rebellion only established massive killings and instability. (Voa, Pro-Coup Coalition Forms in Sudan, Hopes to Break Country’s Political Stalemate, 2022) The generals involved are Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who is the nation’s deputy head of the Rapid Support Forces. The clash between officials started because these two leaders support an oppressive strategy over their nation, which tempted both leaders to compete against one another instead of forming a compromised solution. This crisis caused over 459 people have been killed and more than 4,000 people have been injured, according to the “World Health Organization” Because of dangerous ambition and selfishness between the two leaders caused their citizens to suffer, which also declined stability in the humanitarian sector. (npr, As Sudan’s conflict continues into its second week, here’s what to know, Kate Bartlett, 2023)
How does this conflict affect Humanitarian Aid?
The inflation rate in Sudan has been rising ever since 1973, as years went by inflation rate in this country has been increasing each year. The increase in money supply has been an ongoing factor because of the debt its central government has, this deficit continued because the Sudanese government continued to borrow funds from state corporations to save their economic sector, not only that shortages of consumer goods has also contributed to their suffering economy. However the Sudanese government relies on their resources in agriculture, but sadly the country’s resources were not put to use because of drought, shortages in water and inconsistent agriculture policies. Now, with the ongoing conflict between the two leaders has caused sustainability to suffer even more. With the government’s inconsistent strategies, its economic development and benefits for citizens continue to suffer on a daily basis. The poor quality of animals, lack of water and livestock, especially during the dry season, has damaged development and increased the risk of poverty. Because without trade and businesses, then the financial sector of the country will go down, causing businesses to collapse. Sadly, the country has not gotten any better over the past years because of constant instability and the lack of support from the government.
(Current African Issues 57, Current Status of Agriculture and Future Challenges in Sudan, Farida Mahmoub, 2014)
With the ongoing power struggle between Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who originally wanted change. But, because of their power-hungry strategy, everything turned into chaos and destruction. This also made human rights suffer in the country, with the ongoing hate crimes, misogyny and discrimination women are facing. Instead of focusing on the development of social values, these officials chose to escalate tension which caused war and violence.
The government’s security forces and militias turned against Sudan’s People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO), According to the UN, the country’s government security forces and militias conducted attacks against civilians, which had 173 civilians killed and over 130 women and girls raped. The attack also led to the ransacking of homes and public buildings, which created intense destruction to their society. The disastrous agenda of government security forces have caused chaos and war, which contributed to significant violence.
According to reports from the UN, the war between the government and opposition forces, the National Salvation Front (NAS), continued in the south, which resulted in kidnapping, beatings and more murderous deeds. This was done by government security forces, and NAS, the heartless and devastating agenda the Sudanese government is conducting is destroying not only the economy but also the lives of its citizens. Such practice should not be done, security forces should not be killing their own citizens even if war escalates. This devastating act should be prevented, that is why the international committee should step in to save the citizens of Sudan
(Amnesty International, South Sudan 2022)
The UN Mission in South Sudan filed 52 incidents of conflict-related sexual violence that were conducted by government security forces. As you can see, the Sudanese environment has been suffering and has been living in chaos for all these years. Women and children have been dying and being abused by the military, contributing to more violence, and peace becomes next to impossible. Unknown armed groups and community-based militias have also been involved, contributing to more destruction and violent attacks, resulting in 103 people being killed or injured. The authoritarian dominance the Sudanese government is conducting has been making the nation’s economic system and development suffer, causing an increasing amount of death, citizens getting the lack of education, women being sexually assaulted, and children dying from starvation. The patriarchy in the Sudanese society has gotten worse, spreading an increasing amount of sexual violence and attacks which contributed to the increasing amount of CRSV, which caused Sudan to be known as a country of crisis and war. Even with the implementation of the 2021 Action Plan for the Armed Forces on Addressing CRSV, such an agenda did not push through because of the disruption and the lack of teamwork between officials, and the lack of compromise between citizens. War will for sure escalate if officials decide to continue their barbaric attack on its own people, their power-hungry strategy has made its government fall, and people rebel against one another. The 2021 Action Plan for the Armed Forces on Addressing CRSV also failed to bring awareness to its people because of the lack of education Sudanese people have. Not every citizen can afford to go to school. Also, most places lack access to the proper education for students to become more aware of the different policies that were supposed to be implemented. Over three million children in Sudan do not attend school. The lack of education citizens have contributes to the increasing amount of poverty because without education, people will be unemployed, and underdevelopment will increase because of the lack of departments and businesses that could have helped contribute to the development of the Sudanese society. This issue made people less educated about what is going on in their surroundings and less involved in the policies of the government. That is why the people of Sudan are less aware of the 2021 Action Plan for the Armed Forces on Addressing CRSV; copies of the action plan were not distributed to its citizens because of Sudan’s Capitalist regime and the control of its government, which prevented the freedom of rights of the Sudanese people. Without citizens being aware of the action plan, this will leave them to be uneducated, being uninformed about these issues will make citizens feel alone and abandoned. Not only that, people will continue to cause violence and chaos furthering their plans of attack. Access to mental health and support is also very limited to survivors, which decreases the possibility of living in a peaceful society. This not only developed depression and fear in to survivors but also prevented them from having the ability to be productive because of the distraction they have from trauma and the mental health issues they faced when attacked.
Women have been experiencing unwanted pregnancies because of rape and assault. Women have been dying because of the military’s barbaric actions. It is very inhumane for innocent people to die because of their gender. This conflict has to be prevented, yes, but resolutions will be a challenge to accomplish if their society continues to be corrupt and unscrupulous.
(The Borgen Project, The Education and Poverty Crisis in Sudan)
(Human Rights Council, Conflict-related sexual violence against women and girls in South Sudan,2022)
What should the international committee do about this conflict?
In the year of 2023, the EU successfully donated €73 million for humanitarian assistance for the country of Sudan. The EU being the biggest donor of humanitarian aid, has stepped up in its commitment in terms of funding the human rights system. Because of Sudan’s decreasing economy and it's decreasing humanitarian system, the EU has successfully provided communities with health, nutritional care, food assistance, water and shelter. The United States also has contributed in delivering $288 million for humanitarian assistance to support the people of South Sudan as Sudanese citizens continue to face destruction and crisis. The inhumanity the Sudanese military and government are doing to their citizens is devastating and sadistic. The number of women and children being assaulted has been increasing each day causing each civilians livelihood to suffer. The basic needs of each person is not met, with starvation and assault people will not reach their full potential to be a productive member of the society. With the lack of people in the workforce this will greatly decrease economic development. Without the support of the international committee, the country will continue to suffer, and inequality will continue to rise. However, the international committee can only do as much to support this country to have the opportunity to be relieved from the crisis. Sadly, unification cannot be made without the cooperation of local officials and without the establishment of peace for its citizens, which endangers the lives of civilians. In this case, the alliance should continue to work together to help Sudan be relieved from such a crisis. With a strong and united alliance, the G20 and G7 can successfully develop solutions to assist nations in war. Unfortunately, the alliance can only do as much if the crisis continues to escalate. This will weaken diplomacy and opportunities for peace will be damaged.
(USAID, United States Provides More That $288 Million in Additional Humanitarian Assistance to South Sudan,(2023),https://www.usaid.gov/news-information/press-releases/feb-16-2023-united-states-provides-more-288-million-additional-humanitarian-assistance-south-sudan#:~:text=The%20United%20States%2C%20through%20the,malnutrition%20since%20independence%20in%202011.)
(European Union, Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of the Sudan, (2021),https://www.eeas.europa.eu/sudan/european-union-and-sudan_en?s=122)
(European Commission, European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, https://civil-protection-humanitarian-aid.ec.europa.eu/where/africa/sudan_en#:~:text=EU%20humanitarian%20aid%20in%20the,mainly%20emergency%20lifesaving%20essential%20services.)
(The Borgen Project, The Education and Poverty Crisis in Sudan,https://borgenproject.org/education-and-poverty-crisis-in-sudan/)
(Human Rights Council, Conflict-related sexual violence against women and girls in South Sudan,2022)
(Amnesty International, South Sudan, 2022,https://www.amnesty.org/en/location/africa/east-africa-the-horn-and-great-lakes/south-sudan/)
(npr, As Sudan’s conflict continues into its second week, here’s what to know, Kate Bartlett, 2023,https://www.npr.org/2023/04/27/1172123699/sudan-conflict-explained)