The View from India | Two Generals, power hunger, and strife: An escalating crisis in Sudan

Understand international affairs from the Indian perspective with View from India

Updated - April 25, 2023 10:23 am IST

Published - April 24, 2023 01:39 pm IST

A drone view shows smoke rising over buildings a week after fighting began in North Khartoum, as seen from Omdurman, Sudan.

A drone view shows smoke rising over buildings a week after fighting began in North Khartoum, as seen from Omdurman, Sudan. | Photo Credit: Reuters

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The battle for power between the Sudanese military and paramilitary force called the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has rapidly escalated in the past few days leaving over 400, including 264 civilians, dead, and nearly 4,000 wounded.  Several countries are urgently evacuating diplomats and citizens amid the conflict that has led to a grave humanitarian crisis. 

India has sent two heavy-lift aircraft to Saudi Arabia and a ship to the coast of Sudan to begin evacuation of its nationals who are caught in war-torn Sudan, the Ministry of External Affairs Arindam Bagchi said on April 23. The moves are part of India’s plans to activate a contingency plan to evacuate people from the war-torn country once the security situation improves. Kallol Bhattacherjee reports. Also read the story of the Hakki Pikki, or bird catchers of Karnataka, now caught in the war in Sudan.  

Read this explainer on the unfolding crisis in Sudan by Sumeda for the context. 

Mohamed Hamdan Dagolo

Mohamed Hamdan Dagolo

At the heart of the distressing developments in Sudan is a bitter struggle between two power-hungry men — Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the commander of the Sudanese Armes Forces (SAF) and de facto leader of the African nation, and Mohamed Hamdan Dagolo, better known as ‘Hemedti’, leading Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF). Hailing from a nomadic Arab community in Sudan’s restive Darfur, paramilitary commander Mr. Dagolo, who seized the vacuum left by the fall of Omar Bashir to engineer his own rise, is now challenging the armed forces, pushing the country into another civil war. Hemedti’s rise from an outsider warlord who cut his teeth in Darfur’s civil war to one of the most powerful men in the country is almost like a “fairy tale”, writes Stanly Johny. The battle between the Generals is derailing the promised transition to civilian rule, and the old regime, with all its repressive organs, is back with two heads, with the promised revolution stuck between them.  

“If the priority of the generals is to address Sudan’s basic problems, they should pay attention to the call for a truce and dialogue and commit themselves to a timeline-sensitive democratic transition,” The Hindu’s editorial said

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In the region

1. Just ahead of the Shangai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Defence Ministers meeting in the national capital, India and China on April 23 held the 18th round of Corps Commander talks at Moldo on the Chinese side in eastern Ladakh in the continuing efforts to resolve the stand-off ongoing since May 2020.

2. Conservationists in Sri Lanka slam proposal to export monkeys to China 

3. Tamils flag escalating attacks on temples in northern Sri Lanka

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