The Debilitating Humanitarian Crisis in Sudan

Sudan, formally known as the Republic of the Sudan, is a country in Northeast Africa with a population of around 46 million people. The nation has a primarily agricultural economy with some oil/mining industry growth. While Sudan has one of the fastest-growing economies of African countries, according to the Food & Agricultural Organization, it has one of the biggest humanitarian crises in the world, ranking 103rd out of 125 countries in the 2023 Global Hunger Index. The conflicts occurring in this country have spanned decades.

At the beginning of the 19th century, the British and Egyptians held colonial control of the Sudanese country. The power dynamics were split, with the British controlling the North as the Egyptians ruled the South, only for the British to implement rules over the entire country. The British, using a tactic known as ‘Divide and Rule,’ in the North put Northern leaders in authority, modernized schools, and encouraged Islam; in the South, they scattered rule across tribal leaders and put Christian missionaries in charge of leading education/schooling. The difference in power caused a divide between the people in the North and South of Sudan, as they lived under different social and cultural situations; this would play a big part in the conflicts seen in later years.

Eventually, Sudan would gain independence in 1956, but this didn’t help the country. The decolonization of Sudan increased its vulnerability with its resources and pushed the country to get in the middle of Soviet and US conflicts. These conflicts and the instability in the government caused Sudan to be a dump zone for weapons, with militia groups and corruption on the rise. This instability caused two civil wars, both within 11 years of each other, resulting in 2 million deaths and 4 million displacements, and constant coups from military leaders and others seeking power made the citizens incredibly angry and desire a democratic government. On top of this, sanctions from the US claiming terrorism and the independence of South Sudan, a huge supplier of the oil resources (75% of the country’s oil) Sudan’s economy depended on, caused Sudanese citizens to go into intense poverty and the economy to go in shambles.

Omar Al-Bashir was the president of Sudan during most of these conflicts and was the cause of much of the military brutality in uprisings. The people of the country took to the streets to protest/demand a civilian-led government, with two military leaders (Burhan and Hemeti) overthrowing Bashir in a coup, promising the people a democratic government and a better country. The people believed they finally had a stable government. For a time, this was the case, with a transitional government in place with Abdalla Hamdok as the prime minister and Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (Hemeti) as chairpersons/military spokespersons.

Everything changed, however, once Hamdok resigned after multiple military and anti-government group attempts at a coup. His resignation effectively put Burhan and Hemeti as the number 1 and 2, respectively, in a governmental capacity. However, as it is with most in power, Hemeti wanted to be number one, causing both military leaders to use their leverage to connect with influential people and lead military groups in conflicts with each other. These conflicts have occurred since April 2023, with thousands of civilian deaths. Both sides have broken ceasefire resolutions, leading many to wonder when this conflict will end. The only thing that is clear in this conflict is that the citizens of the Republic of the Sudan desperately need international assistance to cease disputes and establish peace and prosperity.

Works Cited

“Crisis in Sudan: What Is Happening and How to Help.” The IRC,,to%20reports%20of%20ethnic%20cleansing. Accessed 1 Jan. 2024.

Global Hunger Index, Accessed 1 Jan. 2024.

“Sudan’s Conflict, Explained.” YouTube, YouTube, 26 May 2023,

“What Went Wrong in Sudan?” YouTube, YouTube, 9 Nov. 2021,