Fighting in Sudan blasts through shaky ceasefires

Briefly: A third attempted ceasefire in Sudan crumbled last night (Wednesday), as the warring Sudanese military and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) accused one another of breaching the US-brokered truces.

Who’s gaining the upper hand?

  • The military now controls access to Khartoum, cutting off RSF units inside
  • It repelled RSF attacks on its HQ yesterday, and retook a key airbase
  • It’s now bombarding the suburb where RSF chief ‘Hemedti’ owns homes
  • And the RSF is appealing for international help

On balance, the above suggests things aren’t going well for the RSF, which is similar in size to the military (100,000 soldiers) but lacks heavy arms and intel.

In parallel, a joint statement by 14 embassies in Khartoum (one of Africa’s largest cities) said more than 270 civilians had died, with food and medical supplies dwindling. And the impacts are becoming regional and global:

Intrigue’s take: It seems unlikely either faction can ‘win’ outright at this point. And even if one side managed to vanquish the other, it wouldn’t be able to rule Africa’s third largest country alone. Both factions lack a political base, and have lost legitimacy after their joint 2021 coup plus the current unfolding catastrophe.

So some kind of stalemate is most likely. And that might explain why the US is preparing a sanctions package against both factions (pressuring them to negotiate), while African leaders are preparing a visit to mediate.

Also worth noting:

  • While Hemedti accused the military of breaching international law this week, he was himself once accused by the ICC of “indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks against civilians” in Darfur.
  • Russian mercenary outfit Wagner has issued a statement denying any involvement in Sudan, following various reports to the contrary.
  • The neighbouring country of South Sudan exports most of its oil through Sudan, which is a key regional oil hub.
Latest Author Articles
US allies hold breath as House readies vote on security assistance bills

After months of deadlock, US Speaker of the House Mike Johnson says he’ll bring a key $95B military aid package to a vote as soon as tomorrow (Saturday).

19 April, 2024
Microsoft invests $1.5B in UAE AI firm after secret US government talks

US tech giant Microsoft has announced it’ll invest $1.5B in G42, the leading artificial intelligence (AI) firm in the UAE. The “strategic investment”, which gives Microsoft a minority stake in the company, aims to further the UAE’s ambitions as an AI hub while bringing yet another leading AI firm into Washington’s orbit.

17 April, 2024
Modi unveils election manifesto as ~1 billion Indians prepare to vote

Few world leaders enter a re-election campaign as sure of winning as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but that’s no excuse to slack off. So last Sunday, just before voting kicks off this Friday, his Bharatiya Janata Party (Indian People’s Party, or BJP) unveiled its election manifesto named Modi’s Guarantee.

16 April, 2024
Could the US let WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange walk free? 

President Joe Biden just said the US is “considering” Australia’s request to end the pursuit of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, a move that could close over 14 years of legal and diplomatic drama. 

12 April, 2024