Sudanese Military Commander Yasser Al-Atta Tours Country Amid Ongoing Conflict with Rapid Support Forces

Sudan's civil war rages on, sparking a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions. Rival generals refuse to negotiate, as foreign interference and lack of aid funding exacerbate the conflict's devastating toll on the Sudanese people.

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Sudanese Military Commander Yasser Al-Atta Tours Country Amid Ongoing Conflict with Rapid Support Forces

Sudanese Military Commander Yasser Al-Atta Tours Country Amid Ongoing Conflict with Rapid Support Forces

Yasser Al-Atta, a senior Sudanese military commander known as the "Old Warrior," has been touring Sudan to strengthen troop resolve and assert the army's control as fighting continues with the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). The conflict, which erupted in 2021, has claimed nearly 15,000 lives and displaced over 8 million people, creating what the UN has called a "crisis of epic proportions."

The fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), led by General Abdel Fattah al Burhan, and the RSF, commanded by General Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, has hindered humanitarian aid efforts and left nearly 25 million people, half of Sudan's population, in need of assistance. The RSF, which grew out of the notorious Janjaweed Arab militias, has carried out brutal attacks on ethnic African civilians, particularly in the Darfur region, raising concerns about potential war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide.

UN officials have warned that the worsening violence in Darfur threatens to unleash bloody intercommunal strife, with around 800,000 people in the city of El Fasher in immediate peril as the RSF prepares to attack the city. An RSF victory in El Fasher would give them control over all the regional capitals in Darfur, creating a stronghold from which they can fight the remaining SAF elements for years to come.

Why this matters: The conflict in Sudan has sparked a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions, with widespread displacement, food insecurity, and human rights abuses. The international community is calling for urgent action to improve humanitarian access, protect vulnerable populations, and bring an end to the fighting that has reversed Sudan's progress by decades.

Despite repeated calls for a ceasefire, both the SAF and RSF have ignored appeals and stepped up preparations for further fighting, including campaigns to recruit civilians. External interference, with foreign supporters providing weapons and other support to both sides in violation of UN sanctions, has been a significant factor extending the war. Experts estimate that the conflict has cost Sudan $100 billion, with massive losses on both sides, but neither has demonstrated the political will to turn to a negotiated solution.

The UN humanitarian appeal for Sudan remains severely underfunded, with only 7% of the required funds being provided. Caritas Internationalis has called for a more decisive and collective international response to expand humanitarian access and secure an immediate ceasefire to resolve the conflict and mitigate the suffering of the Sudanese people. "Sudan's plight must no longer be ignored," said former Sudanese refugees Abdelaziz Musa and Mebrahtu Atalay. "The United States and the international community must do more to address this crisis."

Key Takeaways

  • Conflict between Sudanese military and paramilitary forces has caused a humanitarian crisis.
  • Fighting has hindered aid efforts, leaving 25 million Sudanese in need of assistance.
  • RSF militia accused of brutal attacks on civilians, raising concerns about war crimes.
  • External interference with weapons and support has prolonged the conflict, costing Sudan $100B.
  • UN appeal for Sudan severely underfunded, calls for urgent international response to address crisis.