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Forgotten Wars: The Sudanese Civil War

People fleeing from the conflict to escape horrible living conditions.

Ramadan is supposed to be a time where communities come together and celebrate but this was not the case in Sudan. In 2023, during Ramadan two rival factions started a civil war and no one is talking about it.Here is the history of Sudan, what started the civil war, how brutal this civil war is, and how it affects us.


Sudan gained its independence from Britain on January 1st 1956. There was no violent revolution, but there were many bloody civil wars in Sudan’s history. According to Zapata,“The north was (and continues to be) predominantly Muslim, while the southern regions are mostly Christian and animist. From 1930 to 1953 the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium governed northern and southern Sudan separately.”

This divide led to the first Sudanese civil war. Also from Zapata, “In the first civil war, from 1955 to 1972, southern insurgents, called the Anya Nya, fought against GOS for greater autonomy. By 1969, Anya Nya controlled most of southern Sudan. In 1971, the rebel group integrated into the Southern Sudan Liberation Movement, or SSLM, the precursor to today’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army, or SPLM/A. The war ended with the 1972 Addis Ababa Agreement between SSLM and GOS, which granted significant regional autonomy to southern Sudan on internal issues.”

Here is the map showing all the factions of the war.

The first civil war was already really bloody but the second civil war is even worse. According to Momodu, “The Second Sudanese Civil War was an intense 22-year conflict between the central government in Khartoum and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). The war started in southern Sudan but spread to other places including the Nuba mountains and the Blue Nile region. Two million people died in this conflict but the war also led to the creation of South Sudan as an independent nation in 2011.”

This is one of the bloodiest conflicts since WWII. Even after the creation of South Sudan both countries are massively unstable. In 2019 the people of Sudan had enough with their government so they revolted against the government and soon overtrew it.

As the United States Institute of Peace wrote, “Sudan’s 2019 revolution was a remarkable example of nonviolent action at work. Activists were organized and disciplined despite challenging circumstances, resulting in President Omar al-Bashir’s resignation. However, Sudan’s democratic transition has faltered in the years since Bashir’s downfall and is now threatened by the Sudanese military’s counterrevolutionary coup last fall.”

Unfortunately, the Sudanese people got it really rough. There have been periods of economic decline, unrest, riots etc. In 2023 on April 15 another civil war started and it might be the most brutal conflict we have seen in decades. It all started because the attacks by the RSF on government sites as airstrikes, artillery, and gunfire were reported across Sudan causing a brutal civil war in silence.

According to NPR, “ more than 8 million people have fled their homes and more than 14,000 people have been killed.” Global Conflict Tracker wrote, “The group carried out brutal attacks across the Darfur region and is responsible for mass displacement, sexual violence, kidnapping, and other crimes.”

This war could lead to a brutal civil war worse than the Russo-Ukrainian or Israel-Hamas conflict. The huge problem is no one is documenting anything about Sudan. According to Voice of America, “the fighting was growing in scope and brutality while the world remained “scandalously silent, though violations of international humanitarian law persist with impunity.”

That is the main problem. Sudan isn’t the US biggest enemy or ally. It is not controversial like Israel is or even a well known country. We overlook countries like Sudan because we are not told to care about Sudan. No government, no influencers, no friends, or any one around are telling that the Sudanese conflict is deadly or horrifying. We are told to care about Israel- Palestine or Russia-Ukraine.

Refugees that fled fighting in Sudan head towards a barge in Renk, South Sudan before being relocated to their place of origin, on Aug. 27, 2023. Tens of thousands fled a grisly civil conflict years ago to settle in Sudan, to the north. With war now raging there, they are streaming home to a country ill-prepared to take them back. (Joao Silva/The New York Times) (NYT)

In war there isn’t a loss in a person but a loss in humanity. The worst part about wars is it always gets overshadowed by something. The West is rich but it will only give its riches to certain countries that are at war , forgetting all the other countries who have to face the brutality of it. Sudan, Burma, the DRC all of these countries suffer in silence.

Ap News wrote, “The U.S. announced more than $47 million in humanitarian aid for war-torn Sudan.” This aid isn’t enough compared to the US GDP. $47 million is like giving cents to countries, especially war torn ones like Sudan. Compare this to Ukraine or Israel where we sent billions of dollars to these countries.

Is this fair? Why should we cherry pick which conflict we should send aid to? We could lessen these conflicts but we don’t because the US doesn’t care about them. We don’t care about them.

At the end of the day when we are told to care about a conflict we care very much. There have been many palestinian protesters because they are told to care; however, countries like Sudan suffer in silence as no one cares about them. We don’t know how brutal if civil war will get but it is our job as the strongest nation on earth to prevent a civil war from becoming the deadliest war on earth. We must advocate to reduce the violence and casualties of the Sudanese civil war.

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About the Contributor
Karthik Ramadugu
Karthik Ramadugu, Staff Writer
Saikrishna Karthikeya Ramadugu is a sophomore. Karthik is on the speech and debate team and he likes to play funny map games. If you have a longer name than him, then good luck.

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