Sudan on the Cliff Edge

It has been over a year since Sudan was caught in a crisis between two generals, with no end in sight and no solution for ordinary people who have been plunged into starvation by the ongoing war. The power struggle between the Sudanese Army and Rapid Support Forces escalated into violent clashes in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, as well as Darfur and other parts of the country, in mid-April of 2023. The crisis has claimed many lives, resulted in the wanton destruction of property, and left many villages ablaze. Ordinary people in Sudan have nowhere to run. Greed and quest for power are at the root of the current situation, with women and children being the primary victims.

The poverty index in Sudan indicates that 30.9% of the population, or about 6 million people, are suffering from severe poverty. Sudan has long been plagued by issues related to land, food, and water, along with unresolved regional disputes. Like many African countries, Sudan is burdened with wars and debts to international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Various Arab regimes—from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Chad to Tunisia—have also interfered in Sudanese internal affairs. Each faction that has engaged in conflict since last year has received backing from one imperialist camp or another. Sudan previously experienced a civil war that lasted over a decade.

This situation is exacerbated by the fact that the al-Bashir regime, which was in power for nearly four decades, left the country in a dire economic state. Like many other African regimes, it was massively corrupt and highly oppressive. The regime failed to provide basic social amenities and protection, and it did not build the necessary infrastructure to ensure food, water, and security.

The current crisis has revived unimaginable horrors

Many Sudanese have disappeared as a result of the conflict. Women have been raped, children killed, and many wounded people have no access to healthcare. Numerous victims die because many hospitals are dysfunctional or have closed due to attacks by the rival groups.

During a press conference on June 7, 2024, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning stated that the current situation in Sudan bears all signs of a dangerous genocide. Alice Wairimu Nderitu, the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, echoed this sentiment, stating that the situation in Sudan has the hallmarks of a potential genocide, with strong allegations of this crime being committed. According to “Radio Tamazuj,” Nderitu pointed out that the civilian population in El Fasher, Darfur, is being targeted, attacked, and killed based on their skin color and ethnicity, amid the spread of hate speech and direct incitement to violence.

According to other reports, the ongoing battle between the Sudanese Army and Rapid Support Forces has degenerated into a tribal and ethnic conflict, while it is clear that each group receives weapons and funding from different international backers.

In a press conference, the Director of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, raised an alarm on Wednesday, June 5, describing the human catastrophe caused by the Sudan war as unimaginable. He stressed that Sudan is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, with 12 million people displaced. WHO figures revealed that 10 million people are internally displaced, while two million have fled to neighboring countries.

“First to a conflict that has been dragging on for many months, with tens of thousands killed, millions displaced, and health services severely disrupted. I’m not talking about Gaza. I’m talking about Sudan – the war the world has either forgotten or ignored,”

Ghebreyesus stated. More than 70% of hospitals and 45% of health facilities are not working, while the remaining ones are overwhelmed with people seeking care.

Some 600,000 Sudanese have fled to neighboring Chad, and this has created tensions over scarce resources.

Reports by the “Sudan Witness” project claim that the number of fires ignited in villages last April surpasses any other month since the current war erupted. The total number of fires in the country since the outbreak of fighting is 201 as army squads deliberately set entire villages ablaze, especially in Darfur, western Sudan.

Time to End the War and Fight for a Socialist Sudan

Various reactionary forces are battling for power and control over the country’s resources. Both factions have mining companies.

Both the SAF and the RSF are reactionary forces battling for power and control over the country’s resources. They are both responsible for atrocities against the Sudanese people. The involvement of both eastern and western imperialist blocs has contributed heavily to the ongoing crisis. Neither the United Nations nor the African Union has done anything to stop this horrific war, except for some statements.

Like other African countries, Sudan stands on the edge of a precipice, needing a radical socialist solution. Recently, the youth in Kenya organized mass protests against President Ruto’s policies, which would severely impact their already difficult lives. The cost-of-living crisis has sparked major protests in other African nations, including Nigeria, South Africa, Tunisia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Algeria and Uganda.

This highlights the severe inequality in Africa despite its abundant human and natural resources. The current leaders in Africa are largely seen as puppets to various imperialist interests. They are tied to these imperialist interests so much, that they cannot solve any of the major social problems, as this would require a clash with these interests.

Leon Trotsky, one of the co-leaders of the 1917 Russian revolution, in his theory of Permanent Revolution, explains that in colonial and oppressed countries, only the working class’s struggle for power can advance the fight against imperialism and ensure genuine national liberation, along with democratic and social rights for workers and the oppressed masses.

With mass movements emerging across Africa, there is an urgent need to build a strong mass movement capable of defeating the capitalist system and achieving socialism as an alternative. Radical socialist changes are essential, focusing on achieving social and economic justice, protecting natural resources, and enhancing the state’s role in directing the economy for the common good, through workers and social control and management of a socialist plan of production.

To achieve this, the working-class movement in Africa must unite across tribal, cultural, and gender lines and across borders, in a fight for socialism. It must create political organizations to fulfill this task. We in the Revolutionary Socialist Movement (RSM), affiliated with Internationalist Standpoint, are committed to this struggle. We advocate for a socialist confederation of Africa, where the continent’s vast resources are utilized for the needs of all, rather than the greed of a few.

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