Dreaming of democracy in Sudan

On this week's AIAC podcast, we discuss the roots behind fighting between factions of Sudan’s military.

December Revolution Khartoum, 2019. Image credit Manula Amin via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0.

For nearly two months, fighting has continued in Sudan between two factions of the country’s military government—the Sudanese Armed Forces, headed by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces, led by Lt General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.. Fighting has been concentrated in the capital Khartoum and Sudan’s Darfur region, with more than 1,500 people killed.

The conflict originated in Sudan’s 2019 revolution, when Omar al-Bashir, the country’s military despot, was ousted after 30 years. Thereafter, the military agreed to a power-sharing deal and transition to civilian rule (after massacring protestors in Khartoum in June 2019). But in October 2021, the SAF and RSF joined forces to depose Sudan’s interim civilian leader, Abdallah Hamdok.

The proximate causes of today’s fighting stem from a dispute over integrating the RSF into Sudan’s security apparatus. Fundamentally, both sides see the other as an existential threat, a possible foil to their control of vast economic interests, such as gold and gum Arabic. The international community—with its own interests in the Sudanese economy—is also to blame, being overcommitted to the military factions as elite brokers of the transitional process. Excluded in all this are the Sudanese people. Joining the podcast to discuss the roots of the crisis and how ordinary Sudanese people are proving resilient, is Mahder Serekberhan. Mahder Serekberhan is a political science PhD student at Syracuse University. She is the vice chairperson of the Global Pan-African Movement, North America Delegation.

Listen to the show below, watch clips on YouTube, and subscribe via your favorite platform.

Further Reading