Thursday, June 20, 2024

Bloody conflict in Sudan.. What will it do to its neighbors?


Sudan’s ongoing conflict threatens its neighbors in the conflict-ridden region, as any dramatic development within Sudan seems certain to affect neighboring countries, given the intertwined situation between them, according to experts.

Sudan is bordered by countries including Egypt, Libya, Chad, Central African Republic, Eritrea, South Sudan and Ethiopia.

In a statement to Al-Hurrah, head of the Arab Century Studies Center in Riyadh, Saad bin Omar said Sudan “has now become a focal point in the east of the African continent, affecting the region primarily economically and security-wise.”

Neighboring Chad and Ethiopia are two continental countries, meaning they have no coastlines, and are heavily dependent on Sudanese ports, the most important of which is Port Sudan, security imbalances in Sudan affect major roads crossing. to Chad, Ethiopia and Uganda.

The Associated Press says the effects of the conflict in Sudan could reach beyond its borders and witness the kind of protracted conflict that has ravaged other countries in the Middle East and Africa, from Lebanon and Syria to Libya and Ethiopia. and threatens to erupt into a protracted civil war or divide the country into competing regions.

I came in Article On the current conflict on the Council on Foreign Relations website, the African country is “already in a difficult neighborhood, and a descent into civil war will make it difficult to achieve peace among its neighbors.”

Reuters points out that Sudan is no stranger to conflict, but this time the fighting cuts across the capital, Khartoum, and not the far reaches of a country located in an unstable region bordering the Red Sea, the coast and the Horn. Africa.

Five of Sudan’s seven neighboring countries — Ethiopia, Chad, the Central African Republic, Libya and South Sudan — have experienced political turmoil and conflict in recent years.

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The Associated Press reports that Sudan’s neighbors are mired in their own internal conflicts, with various rebel groups operating along the border.

Saad bin Omar, head of the Center for Arab Centenary Studies in Riyadh, explains that previous security unrest in Sudan has had repercussions and that conflicts in the region in general have spilled over into other countries, for example, with similar movements emerging from the Sudanese people. In the liberation movement led by John Garang in northern Sudan, Uganda, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Chad and even Libya, individuals formed groups that found fertile ground for growth.

“What happens in Sudan won’t happen in Sudan,” Alan Boswell of the International Crisis Group told The Associated Press, noting that Chad and South Sudan are at immediate risk of such repercussions.

And she says The Washington Post The protracted conflict in a country that has seen countless rebellions in its decades of independence could spread to Sudan’s neighbors directly or through the support of proxy forces, which “could have serious consequences for regional security and endanger lives.” Millions.”

Egypt has close ties to the Sudanese army, which it considers an ally against Ethiopia, and has been in contact with both sides of the current conflict for a ceasefire, “but the Sudanese army is unlikely to stand idly by if it faces defeat.” According to the Associated Press.

Although Egypt and Sudan’s history is intertwined politically, trade, culturally and with the shared Nile River, Cairo is concerned about political unrest in its south after massive protests against Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

A large Sudanese community lives in Egypt, estimated at around 4 million people, including around 60,000 refugees and asylum seekers.

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Egypt and Sudan are concerned about the threats posed by Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam project on the Nile, and both countries have consolidated their positions against the dam. reach an agreement, according to the Associated Press.

The Washington Post notes that the current situation could complicate negotiations on the dam.

In his statements to the Al-Hurra website, he believes that the Ethiopian government can take advantage of the file because of the lack of a strong government in Khartoum.

A Council on Foreign Relations article notes that any major Egyptian role in Sudan “would set off alarm bells in Ethiopia, given Egypt’s overwhelming objection to building the dam.”

As for Libya, Reuters notes that Sudanese militias have already fought with parties involved in the conflict in Libya since 2011. In recent years, many Sudanese militants have returned to Sudan, where they have contributed to heightened tensions in western Sudan’s Darfur region.

Sudan is a starting point and transit route for migrants seeking to reach Europe via Libya, where traffickers have taken advantage of the conflict and political turmoil.

Tensions in Darfur and ethnic divisions between conflicting parties in Sudan represent real security threats to Chad, the Council on Foreign Relations says.

Chad hosts around 400,000 Sudanese displaced by previous conflicts and has seen an influx of around 20,000 additional refugees since the start of the last conflict.

Chad is concerned about the spread of the crisis across the border in areas that hold refugees, most of them from Darfur. During the Darfur conflict, “Janjaweed” militias (which later became the Rapid Support Force) carried out cross-border attacks targeting refugees and Chadian villagers, Reuters reported.

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Chad is also concerned that fighters from the Russian “Wagner” group in neighboring Central African Republic (who are said to be collaborating with the RSF) may support Chadian rebels who threaten the N’Djamena government. According to Reuters, Wagner denies being in Sudan.

South Sudan, which seceded from Sudan in 2011 after decades of civil war, exports 170,000 barrels of oil production per day via a pipeline that runs through Sudan.

Analysts say neither side in the Sudanese conflict is interested in disrupting oil flows, but South Sudan’s government says the fighting has already blocked logistics links and transport routes between oil fields and Port Sudan.

Sudan hosts 800,000 refugees from South Sudan. The mass return of refugees could further strain efforts to provide aid to the more than two million displaced people in South Sudan who have fled their homes in the country due to civil war.

The conflict in Sudan also threatens that both sides will exploit the turmoil to advance their goals regarding the border with Ethiopia, which has seen ongoing clashes in disputed areas.

When unrest broke out in northern Ethiopia’s Tigray region in 2020, tensions erupted on the disputed fertile Fashaka border between the two countries, pushing more than 50,000 Ethiopian refugees into already impoverished parts of eastern Sudan.

Eritrean refugees in Sudan could face a similar ordeal if the conflict outside Khartoum escalates. Sudan is home to 134,000 Eritrean refugees and asylum seekers who fled conscription imposed by the Asmara government.

Many Eritrean refugees in northern Ethiopia fled their camps during the 2020-2022 Tigray war.

Rolf Colon
Rolf Colon
"Creator. Award-winning problem solver. Music evangelist. Incurable introvert."

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