The latest bout of violence in Sudan began on Saturday, following weeks of tension between the army and the Rapid Support Forces, a powerful paramilitary group. This comes at a time when the people of Sudan were preparing for a new government after years of coups, protests, and political instability. However, the threat of an all-out civil war now looms over the country, putting these plans at risk.
To better understand the situation, Dareen Abughaida hosts a panel discussion with three guests: Mariam al-Mahdi, leader of the National Umma Party and former foreign minister of Sudan; Alaa El Din Nugug, spokesperson for the Sudanese Professionals Association, a part of the Forces of Freedom of Change; and Dallia Mohammed Abdelmoneim, a Sudanese activist.
Mariam al-Mahdi begins by providing some context to the current situation. She explains that the Rapid Support Forces were initially formed to fight against rebels in Darfur, but have since become a powerful force in Sudan. They are not accountable to any government institution and have been accused of committing atrocities against civilians. Al-Mahdi believes that the current violence is a result of the Rapid Support Forces trying to assert their dominance over the army.
Alaa El Din Nugug agrees with al-Mahdi’s assessment and adds that the Rapid Support Forces are also trying to maintain their economic interests in Sudan. He explains that they control many businesses in the country, including gold mines and transportation companies. Nugug believes that the Rapid Support Forces are trying to prevent any changes to the status quo that could threaten their economic power.
Dallia Mohammed Abdelmoneim provides a different perspective, arguing that the current violence is not just about power struggles between different factions in Sudan. She believes that it is also a result of years of neglect and marginalization of certain regions in the country. Abdelmoneim explains that many people in Sudan feel that their voices are not being heard and that they are not receiving their fair share of resources. This has led to a sense of frustration and anger, which is now boiling over into violence.
The panel then discusses what the international community can do to help resolve the situation in Sudan. Al-Mahdi believes that the African Union and the United Nations should take a more active role in mediating between the different factions in Sudan. She also calls for targeted sanctions against those who are responsible for the violence.
Nugug agrees with al-Mahdi’s call for international intervention, but also emphasizes the importance of Sudanese civil society in finding a solution. He explains that the Sudanese Professionals Association has been working to mobilize people across the country to demand change. Nugug believes that it is important for the international community to support these grassroots movements.
Abdelmoneim adds that any solution to the current crisis must address the underlying issues of marginalization and inequality in Sudan. She calls for a more inclusive government that represents all regions and ethnic groups in the country. Abdelmoneim also emphasizes the importance of addressing economic issues, such as corruption and unequal distribution of resources.
In conclusion, the panel agrees that the situation in Sudan is complex and multifaceted. The current violence is a result of power struggles between different factions, economic interests, and years of neglect and marginalization. However, there is hope for a peaceful resolution if the international community and Sudanese civil society work together to address these underlying issues. A more inclusive government and a fairer distribution of resources could help prevent future violence and pave the way for a more stable and prosperous Sudan.