Sudan crisis and caution for Nigeria

Sudan and fighting between generals will be a boost for terrorists like Boko Haram, Islamic State’s West Africa Province, bandits and others that are fighting in Nigeria. Sudan is a lawless country today that has no leader. There is no legal government in Sudan. President Bola Tinubu should watch out for hundreds of fighters from Chad’s Arab tribes who are participating alongside the Rapid Support Forces in Sudan’s ongoing war. I am worried because we have Boko Haram, bandits and ISWAP in Nigeria. Nigeria is close to Chad. Sudan’s western neighbour is the country most affected by the ongoing conflict, particularly since Chadian authorities intercepted dozens of vehicles carrying smuggled weapons seized from Sudanese army warehouses. President Tinubu should take proactive steps to monitor Nigeria’s boundary with Chad and Cameroun.

Last week, Leaders of the armed groups in Darfur, signatories to the Juba peace agreement, arrived in the Chadian capital, N’Djamena, for talks with the Chadian president on ways to stop the fighting in Sudan. Chad is hosting tens of thousands of refugees fleeing the conflict in Darfur, while hundreds of fighters from Chad’s Arab tribes are participating alongside the Rapid Support Forces in the war.

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The head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan has emphasised the urgent need for resolving the conflict in neighbouring Sudan, highlighting its far-reaching impact on multiple aspects. I want to highlight that the conflict in Sudan continues to affect the political, humanitarian, security, and economic situation in South Sudan,

A senior official in Central Darfur State revealed that the Rapid Support Forces had destroyed government institutions in the state capital, Zalingei, after gaining control over the city, with the exception of the army command.

Since April 20, Zalingei has been engulfed in intense clashes between the army and the RSF. On May 18, communication and internet services were cut off from the state, which is partially controlled by the non-signatory Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid al-Nur.

The support forces and allied militias have taken control of most government institutions, including the government secretariat, ministry headquarters, police headquarters, the Central Reserve Forces Command, and other facilities. They have looted and set fire to some of these buildings,” the official told Sudan Tribune on condition of anonymity.

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He also mentioned that the residence of Governor Saad Babikir has been converted into a military barracks and headquarters of Maj Gen Ali Yaqoub Gibril, the RSF commander in Central Darfur State.

Furthermore, the official disclosed that the RSF and Arab tribal militias had launched over a dozen attacks on the army headquarters. Still, the army successfully repelled the assaults and inflicted heavy losses on the assailants. The ongoing conflict in Sudan continues to drive thousands of people across the borders into South Sudan, seeking refuge and safety. As people arrive, transit, and move to their destinations of choice, increased competition among communities in congested sites over scarce resources has exacerbated existing tensions, as we witnessed in Renk,” he added.

Since the crisis began, South Sudan has seen a significant influx of individuals, with 149,373 people from 33,797 households arriving as of July 4, 2023.

A major concern is the large number of vulnerable arrivals, including unaccompanied or separated children, the elderly, disabled individuals, pregnant women, and those with urgent medical needs. Many of the returnees originate from urban and peri-urban areas, where they have limited experience living and working in rural farming communities. Consequently, they encounter challenges in adapting to the income opportunities that exist in South Sudan.

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While the United Nations supports efforts to secure a cessation of hostilities in Sudan, led by the United States of America and Saudi Arabia, the decision by Sudan’s military leadership to expel the head of the UN mission in Sudan has posed challenges.

The regional bloc, Intergovernmental Authority on Development’s mediation panel is set to meet to discuss the way forward in its efforts to end the conflict. Khartoum’s rejection of the Kenyan chairmanship blocks their mandate. Also, neighbouring South Sudan and Ethiopia prefer not to take the leadership, leaving no choice for Djibouti, the current chair of the East African bloc.

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