On April 15th, fighting erupted between, the leader of the Sudanese Armed Forces, Abdul Fattah al-Burhan, and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo “Hemedti,” who heads the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). The outbreak of violence marked a culmination of rising tensions between Hamedti and Burhan, amidst the country’s transition towards establishing a civilian-led government, in the aftermath of the 2021 coup. The ensuing conflict has resulted in wide-reaching violence across the country with the UNHCR projecting that over 800,000 Sudanese people could be forced to leave. The role of foreign actors and the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe, which is fast getting worse, are just two of the reasons that make it difficult to predict how the conflict will play out.
One month after the outbreak of violence, the Middle East Council on Global Affairs (ME Council) convened a panel of experts to discuss the ongoing conflict in Sudan. The speakers addressed important questions including the causes of the conflict, the role of foreign actors, the international community’s response to the humanitarian crisis, and how the conflict will impact regional power dynamics. The speakers also explored the possibility of reconciliation between Hemedti and al-Burhan, potential negotiation avenues, and how regional powers can facilitate the process.