Country Conflict Tracker


STATUS: Worsening

Entrenched militarism, an abortive revolution, economic crisis, and drought continue to threaten the well-being of millions.

As HUMANITE looks to next steps, below is a summary of what we're watching and working on.


Updated April 27, 2023

Sudan is facing a growing crisis following the outbreak of violence on April 15, 2023 that has led to the brink fo civil war between Sudan's two top generals.

Decades of entrenched militarism and social inequality and the deliberate instigation of ethnic conflict have mired Sudan in a quagmire of conflict and poverty. Today, Sudan is facing a growing conflation of political, economic, and climate crises.

Though down from its astronomical high of 422% in the summer of 2021, inflation in the country remains debilitatingly high.

One of the most notable characteristics of violence over recent years has been the change in geography, with serious violence increasingly taking place in and around towns and cities, rather than the periphery of the country. Now, the violence has finally engulfed much of Khartoum itself. This comes after years of government and pro-government forces have genocidally attacked and forcibly displaced non-Arabs from their homelands and into camps closer to urban centers.

From drought to economic collapse, increasing violence and a slide back toward autocracy, here are a few of the things we’re watching and working on.

Crisis in Khartoum

Violence erupted on April 15, 2023 following escalating military movements by opposing forces, who had been in a dispute about the army's demand for the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to dissolve and integrate its members into the regular military. It is unclear who started the fighting, but both sides had prepared for battle. The clashes began in Khartoum and quickly spread to other major towns, resulting in conflicting claims of control over key institutions. The conflict has taken a devastating toll on civilians, with over 290 deaths, a lack of basic necessities like water and electricity, depleted medical supplies, and suspended aid operations due to looting. The actual death toll is believed to be higher than reported.

The ongoing conflict between Burhan and Hemedti in Sudan could worsen and lead to a devastating civil war, which could also destabilize neighboring countries. Analysts predict that the army may have an advantage in Khartoum, but it is uncertain. Sudan has numerous armed groups and militias that may ally with either side, leading to a more complex and widespread conflict, particularly in peripheral areas. The consequences of a prolonged conflict could be catastrophic for Sudan and the surrounding region.

The Darfur Context

Though the genocidal campaign in Darfur led by Khartoum against black Africans in the early 2000s formally ended in a peace agreement in 2005, the violence itself and underlying racism has not been meaningfully addressed. Some 300,000 people are thought to have died in Darfur from primary or secondary causes related to the violence.

Today, 3M people are still displaced across Sudan, with 80% of them in the western region of Darfur.

2019 Revolution

The 2019 Revolution and ouster of President Omar al-Bashir began in December 2018 when decades of state-sponsored violence, militarism, and corruption all came home to roost.

The civil war with southern Sudan, which eventually seceded and became South Sudan in 2011, put enormous strain on the country and the morale of the military. But the loss of South Sudan’s oil—some 75% of Sudan’s oil fields—has rapidly thrust Sudan into a “post-oil” or “decarbonized” economy that Sudan was hardly prepared for.

In addition to the massive loss of oil revenue, Bashir’s instigation of ethnic violence in the nation’s periphery had displaced millions of people over the years, some of whom never returned to their homelands. As this displacement forced more and more people from the hinterlands toward urban centers, the government-subsidized flour and bread distribution system could no longer keep up. And without the oil revenues, Bashir was not in a position to spend his way out of the rising unrest.

When the government decided to cut its bread subsidy, thereby increasing the price of bread for families across the country, the dam of resentment against the regime broke, culminating in protests around the country, and the ultimate ouster of the 30-year autocrat, Omar al-Bashir.

Civilian vs.
Military Rule

In Oct 2021, the same military leaders who overthrew the regime of Omar al-Bashir a year prior arrested and removed the civilian prime minister Abdalla Hamdok. After public backlash and backroom deals, Hamdok returned to power, only to resign again abruptly in January 2022.

The takeover came in what was to be a multi-year transitional period to a civilian led government and has prompted ten months of weekly civilian protests against the junta that have themselves resulted in further violence, more than one hundred deaths, and thousands injured at the hands of security forces. Fear of the armed forces is so great that protestors  who dare to gather together in public expect that they will never return home.

Russian Exploitation of Sudan's Gold

On July 29, 2022, CNN released a month’s long investigative report alleging the ruling military had been colluding with the Russian government to plunder Sudan’s gold, bypassing the government and domestic taxation, to help Russia circumvent international sanctions and further its war in Ukraine.

Rising Violence

An estimated 98,000 people have been forced to abandon their homes as of early May, with at least 165 people killed due to violence in South Kordofan, South Darfur, and West Darfur, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Data from IOM shows 16 villages across the area were affected by the clashes, six of which were completely burned and looted.

While many have been able to return to their homes, those whose villages were looted and burned remain without shelter.

Increased Food Insecurity

The continued conflict in Sudan, coupled with crop failure and dry spells across 14 states, have adversely affected over 5.6 million people.

The rising price of agricultural inputs (such as fertilizer) has caused a 35%  decrease in this year’s harvest.

The combined implications of poor harvests, economic crisis, and conflict are significantly impacting people's access to food. Over 18 million were expected to face acute hunger by the end of 2022.

With the rise of violence in Khartoum and around the country in April 2023, current fears are that the scarcity of food and fuel and rising prices will only make matters much, much worse.

Cautionary Tale of South Sudan

The South Sudan experiment over the last decade stands as a kind of cautionary tale for Sudan and all who care about Sudan. After South Sudan’s secession, the new government being built by the military in Juba looked very similar to the one they had escaped in Khartoum.

Today, the youth- and worker-led revolutionary movement has been co-opted by the military, who, with the support of everyone from South Sudan to Saudi Arabia, seem to have a vested interest in protecting the entrenched militarism that enabled them to overthrow al-Bashir in the first place.

If the revolution fails, and Sudan's military junta prevails, the country could be facing another decades-long autocratic rule before it has another chance to try again.


Since 2015, HUMANITE’s founders have been traveling to Sudan and meeting with top Sudanese government and civil sociey leaders in a bid to increase the peace with the people of Sudan.

We are currently supporting colleagues and partners in various humanitarian initiatives, but HUMANITE has not directly implemented any staff-led humanitarian interventions in Sudan to date.

The primary obstacle for increasing HUMANITE’s work in Sudan at this point is financial. Additional funding is required before HUMANITE can meaningfully and sustainbably tackle the pressing needs.

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HUMANITE’s Conflict Tracker is informed and updated by input from our collective of staff, fellows, volunteers, donors, humanitarian partners, analysts, and our network of government, military, and professional contacts across the globe. Leads and tips are fact-checked against U.N., ACLED, local media, and major international media outlets.

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