Four key takeaways from our latest research on ending the violence in Sudan
Our latest policy paper outlines pathways to ending the violence and creating an inclusive Sudanese society. Read a summary of the paper and four key takeaways here and dive deeper into the paper linked below.
Since the escalation of the conflict in Sudan in April 2023, the state has been on the brink of collapse. Fighting has killed an estimated over 600 people, wounded 11,796, and evicted more than 2.8 million from their homes as of June estimates by the UN.
Ending the fighting and giving the Sudanese people’s access to humanitarian support should be the highest priority for all national and international stakeholders. At the same time, the current collapse of Sudan’s governing system creates opportunities to rebuild the political system towards a civilian led inclusive governance system. As the Jeddah talks convened by Saudi Arabia and the United States continues to stumble without any meaningful progress, our policy paper reflects on alternate pathways to ending the violence and creating an inclusive post-conflict settlement.
Sudanese civilian actors might want to start preparing such a civilian led inclusive political transition process. Preparing to push for a civilian-led political transition will be key for creating an inclusive, sustainable peace in Sudan. This preparation includes among other aligning visions for Sudan’s political future and establishing strong civilian leadership.
African governments should now start collaborating towards ending the violence and supporting the installation of a civilian led inclusive government. The international community should stand ready to support such an African led initiative as well as enable civil society to contribute.
To guide this preparatory phase, this policy paper analyses the drivers of the current conflict and identifies entry points for Sudanese civilian actors, particularly women and the international community.
- The conflict in Sudan is not only caused by the power struggle between two armed factions, but as well the result of a dysfunctional state and a long history of divide and rule. Understanding the underlying constraints to a peaceful political transition in Sudan process is key in order for civilian actors to strategize
- There is a need to be more complementary across the various diplomatic efforts at regional and international level to date, and to be more creative in how inclusivity is pursued (both in process and outcome). The international community needs to put aside traditional approaches to ending the violence and peacemaking in Sudan – many of which have largely been tried in Sudan before over the past three decades, and many of which have contributed to the point the country finds itself at. Different outcomes require fundamentally different processes, including support to civilian-led pathways.
- Evidence suggests that local ceasefires with limited scope can be effective in halting violence and enhance the population’s access to humanitarian support. Civil society actors and women could push for such local ceasefires wherever possible, ensuring that the ceasefires are both substantively and procedurally inclusive.
- Next to pushing for civilian inclusion into ceasefires and formal negotiation processes, Sudan’s civil society and other civilian actors could establish their own civilian led peace process to end the violence and lead the country back on a pathway to an inclusive democratic civilian led transition
Photo: UNAMID – Olivier Chassot
Entry Points Towards Ending Violence, Inclusive Peacemaking, and Democratic Transition in Sudan
The escalation of armed hostilities between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on 15 April 2023 have pushed Sudan to the brink of collapse. This policy paper considers potential scenarios for the country's political development in the short- and medium-term and identifies seven entry points for furthering inclusive peacemaking in Sudan.
July 2023Philip Poppelreuter, Thania Paffenholz, Alexander Bramble,