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Can diplomacy end the fighting in Sudan?


In April 2021, fighting broke out between rival Sudanese generals, Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Lt. Gen. Mohamed 'Hemedti' Dagalo, over an agreement to integrate the Rapid Support Forces into the Armed Forces. This has caused an estimated 330 deaths and over 3,000 injuries, and risks dragging the country into a failing or collapsed state. The UAE has been heavily invested in Sudan and is best positioned for diplomacy to bring about a ceasefire, and all sides have been talking. Sudan's transition to civilian rule, which was seen as a promising sequel to the Arab Spring, is now at risk of collapse due to the conflict. The US has been in contact with both sides and is preparing contingency plans to evacuate its embassy staff.


What is the current situation in Sudan?
The current situation in Sudan is a showdown between two military leaders, with fighting breaking out between their forces and resulting in over 330 deaths and more than 3,000 injuries.

What are the economic forecasts for Sudan?
The IMF World Economic Outlook projects Sudan's economy to retract this year by 2.5%, with inflation expected to be 71.6% and unemployment 32%. About a third of the population lives below the international poverty line of $2.15 per day, and close to 70% below the middle income poverty line of $3.65 per day.

What role is the UAE playing in Sudan's crisis?
The UAE has been heavily invested in Sudan and has an understated and unusually effective diplomatic approach. It has been closely coordinating with the UN and its “Quad” partners, as well as Arab and regional allies such as Egypt. The UAE is not taking sides in Sudan, but is instead focused on stability and has outstanding relations with all Sudanese, including Hamdok and the civilian parties.

What was the initial excitement surrounding Sudan's transition to civilian rule?
The initial excitement surrounding Sudan's transition to civilian rule was due to the popular demonstrations that began in Sudan in December 2018 and eventually deposed Sudanese dictator Omar Al-Bashir in April 2019. There was also enthusiasm that a seemingly endless cycle of chronic poverty, abusive and corrupt governance, and, in Darfur, genocide, had been broken in Sudan via a new social contract and plan for civilian rule.

What implications does the conflict in Sudan have for the region?
The instability and conflict in Sudan have implications for the region, as its neighbors include Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, Eritrea, Chad, and the Central African Republic. Sudan is also a central player in negotiations with Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Damn (GERD) and is aligned with Egypt. There are also close to 60,000 registered Sudanese refugees in Egypt.

AI Comments

👍 This article provides a comprehensive overview of the situation in Sudan and the potential diplomatic approaches to the conflict.

👎 The article fails to address the potential long-term effects of the conflict on the Sudanese people.

AI Discussion

Me: It's about the fighting in Sudan and whether diplomacy can end it. It talks about the economic forecast for Sudan, the implications for the region, and the role of the UAE in helping to mediate negotiations.

Friend: Wow. That's a lot to unpack. It sounds like the situation in Sudan is pretty dire. What do you think the implications of this conflict are?

Me: Well, the article mentions that Sudan is at risk of becoming a chronically failing or collapsed state due to its economic situation. It also talks about how this conflict is having a ripple effect in the region, and the potential for it to turn into a Libya-like conflict. The US is also taking steps to evacuate its embassy staff due to the fighting, so that could have a long-term impact on US-Sudan relations. Additionally, the article mentions that this conflict is making it unlikely that Sudan will normalize ties with Israel anytime soon, which could have political implications.

Action items

Technical terms

Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan
Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan is the Commander of the Sudanese Armed Forces who seized power in 2021 and upended the carefully negotiated civilian transition.
Lt. Gen. Mohamed ‘Hemedti’ Dagalo
Lieutenant General Mohamed ‘Hemedti’ Dagalo is the head of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which began as the Janjaweed militia associated with the Darfur genocide.
Abdullah Hamdok
Abdullah Hamdok is the former transitional prime minister of Sudan.
A cease-fire is an agreement between two or more parties to stop fighting.
Wagner Group
The Wagner Group is a Russian private military company.
Khalifa Hiftar
Khalifa Hiftar is a Libyan militia leader.
Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is a hydroelectric dam on the Blue Nile River in Ethiopia.
Antony Blinken
Antony Blinken is the US Secretary of State.
Omar Al-Bashir
Omar Al-Bashir is the former dictator of Sudan.
Alaa Salah
Alaa Salah is a Sudanese activist who led crowds of singing and dancing protesters against Bashir.
Arab Spring
The Arab Spring was a series of pro-democracy uprisings that occurred in the Middle East and North Africa in 2010-2012.
Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC)
The Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC) is a program of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank that provides debt relief to eligible countries.
Abraham Accords
The Abraham Accords are a series of peace agreements between Israel and several Arab countries.
Muslim Brotherhood
The Muslim Brotherhood is a political and social movement founded in Egypt in 1928.
Mossad is the national intelligence agency of Israel.

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