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How Fighting In Sudan Could Reignite The Darfur Conflict

Sudan is descending into all-out civil war. This risks upsetting the fragile peace in Darfur, raising the specter of more atrocities and massacres.

Image of a residential site in Darfur, Sudan, completely destroyed.

Darfur, Sudan. The United Nations issue warnings of a large-scale humanitarian disaster in Sudan.

Pierre Haski


PARIS Ceasefires come and go, providing just a pause amid relentless fighting.

Nothing stops the two forces that have turned Khartoum and parts of Sudan into battlefields: the two generals who are fighting each other — army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and paramilitary leader Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, also known as Hemetti — are mortal enemies who swear they will not negotiate.

Foreign nationals have been evacuated, and the civilian population hides or flees when they can to neighboring countries. The United Nations issue warnings of a large-scale humanitarian disaster; Sudan is approaching a "breaking point," according to the UN humanitarian affairs chief.

But Sudan may only be at the beginning of an even greater tragedy. The news from Darfur, the westernmost region of Sudan on the border with Chad, is alarming. Reports indicate renewed fighting between armed groups that rekindle the specter of massacres from the 2000s.

Beginning in 2003, under the dictatorial regime of Omar al-Bashir, who was overthrown in 2019, a genocidal conflict erupted in Darfur. A revolt by non-Arab ethnic minorities was brutally suppressed by militias made up of Arab nomads sent by the regime. There were up to 300,000 deaths according to estimates. At the root of the conflict were land distribution, access to water, and livestock theft.

The militias, called Janjawid, meaning "devils on horseback," gave rise in 2013 to the Rapid Support Forces, led by Hemetti, one of the two protagonists of the current fighting. He himself is from Darfur. But the regular army also participated in the repression. All current military leaders have blood on their hands from Darfur.

Image of a residential site in Darfur, Sudan, completely destroyed.

Darfur, Sudan, April 29, 2023. 'The war between the generals risks reigniting the Darfur conflict'.

Sarra Majdoub

Two power hungry generals

In 2020, following the dictator's fall, agreements were signed with several armed movements. These agreements are collapsing. Dozens of victims have already been reported in Geneina, in western Darfur.

Can we leave 45 million Sudanese at the mercy of two power-hungry generals?

The war between the generals risks reigniting the Darfur conflict: the war between army generals is not a civil war, it is a confrontation between two military clans. But in Darfur, and elsewhere in the country, it is the country's ethnic, social, and economic fractures that are resurfacing and could lead to a real civil war.

The fragile balance since the 2020 agreements between Arab and non-Arab tribes in Darfur no longer holds. And neighboring countries all have interests to defend — Chad, the Central African Republic, and even Libya, or rather the dissident general Haftar in eastern Libya.

The complexity of relationships between populations, between states, in a very precarious economic and social environment, cannot withstand the rise of violence that began in Khartoum.

The threat of a humanitarian tragedy should prompt more diplomatic mobilization, among all those who have any leverage over this crisis: the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, or Chad.

After saving foreigners, can we leave 45 million Sudanese at the mercy of two power-hungry generals?

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In The Shantytowns Of Buenos Aires, Proof That Neighbors Function Better Than Cities

Residents of the most disadvantaged peripheries of the Argentine capital are pushed to collaborate in the absence of municipal support. They build homes and create services that should be public. It is both admirable, and deplorable.

A person with blonde hair stands half hidden behind the brick wall infront of a house

A resident of Villa Palito, La Matanza, stands at their gate. August 21, 2020, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Guillermo Tella


BUENOS AIRES – In Argentina, the increasing urgency of the urban poor's housing and public services needs has starkly revealed an absence of municipal policies, which may even be deliberate.

With urban development, local administrations seem dazzled, or blinded, by the city center's lights. Thus they select and strengthen mechanisms that heighten zonal and social inequalities, forcing the less-well-off to live "on the edge" and "behind" in all senses of these words. Likewise, territorial interventions by social actors have both a symbolic and material impact, particularly on marginal or "frontier" zones that are the focus of viewpoints about living "inside," "outside" or "behind."

The center and the periphery produce very different social perceptions. Living on the periphery is to live "behind," in an inevitable state of marginality. The periphery is a complex system of inequalities in terms of housing provision, infrastructures, facilities and transport.

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