Conflict Alerts

Conflict Alerts # 218, 21 January 2021

Sudan: Another intertribal massacre in another African country
Apoorva Sudhakar

In the news
On 18 January, 55 people were massacred and 37 injured as clashes between the Arab Rizeigat tribe and the non-Arab Fallata tribe ensued in Sudan's South Darfur state. A week before this, members of the Fallata tribe had allegedly killed a person from the Rizeigat tribe.

On the same day, the UN Secretary-General condemned a similar attack in West Darfur. It urged the Sudanese government to ensure that the National Plan for Civilian Protection was in place and bring an end to the violence.

On 16 January, a scuffle between two men belonging to different ethnic groups spiralled into deadly violence which left at least 129 dead (as of 19 January), including armed forces personnel, and 198 injured in the West Darfur state. One of the men, belonging to an Arab tribe, was stabbed to death resulting in retaliatory attacks on the non-Arab Masalit tribe.

On the same day, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said he had directed a high-profile delegation to visit West Darfur to review the situation.

Issues at large
First, the nature of inter-tribal conflicts in Africa. The current instances of conflict in Darfur between Arab tribes and non-Arab tribes are often traced to a lack of access to resources. For example, in recent months, the Arab herders and non-Arab farmers have often clashed over water and land. However, this is not peculiar to Darfur or Sudan. Other examples of intertribal conflicts in Africa include the following: Hutu-Tutsi conflict in Rwanda; Fulani-Tuareg conflict in western African countries like Nigeria and Mali; and the latest - Tigray conflict in Ethiopia.

Second, the failure of the State. Sudan is currently being governed by a transitional government led by Hamdok after former ruler, Omar al Bashir, who helped arm the Arab tribes and was ousted in 2019. Under al-Bashir, the non-Arab tribes were targeted, and Hamdok came to power with the promise of improving the security conditions. However, Hamdok has been unable to do so, and in 2020, protests demanding the resignation of the entire government broke out. Further, the transitional government provides power-sharing between military and civilian leaders; however, tensions between the two have been simmering for a while. 

Third, the fragile peace deal. In October 2020, the Sudanese government signed a peace deal with a coalition of rebel groups to end the violence that had been continuing for years. However, two groups - one being the Darfur-based Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) - refused to sign the peace agreement.

Fourth, the withdrawal of the UNAMID. The recent spate of violence comes merely days after the African Union-UN mission, known as the UNAMID, officially withdrew from Darfur on 31 December 2020 after it was established in 2007. Though the mission was not perceived as a success by the local population, its withdrawal has sparked fears that it would cause a vacuum. The National Plan for Civilian Protection has been framed to succeed in the UNAMID.

In perspective
First, the persistent conflict in Sudan is a reflection of the failure of successive governments. Further, unless the government strikes a balance between the military and civilian officials in the power-sharing agreement, it would be difficult to collectively address the problems - ethnic, economic or otherwise.

Second, peacebuilding will be difficult without the SLM as it had been a key force against the government since 2003. Further, the exit of the UNAMID, is likely to retain the violent status-quo, if not worsen it until the government begins to implement the National Plan for Civilian Protection soon.

November 2021 | Conflict Alert # 459
Europe: Restrictions lead to Widespread Protests
November 2021 | Conflict Alert # 457
Cuba: Between bouts of demonstrations
November 2021 | Conflict Alert # 454
Pakistan: A month-long ceasefire with the TTP
October 2021 | Conflict Alert # 447
The US: Protests against the Texas anti-abortion law
October 2021 | Conflict Alert # 444
Brazil: Anti-Bolsonaro protests across the country
September 2021 | Conflict Alert # 441
Yemen: Houthis continue to capture territories

September 2021 | Conflict Alert # 439
Europe: Pride Marches in Serbia and Ukraine
September 2021 | Conflict Alert # 437
Brazil: Protestors call for the impeachment of Bolsonaro

September 2021 | Conflict Alert # 435
Guinea: Another coup in Africa
September 2021 | Conflict Alert # 431
Climate Change: Hurricane Ida destructs the US Gulf Coast
August 2021 | Conflict Alert # 422
Europe: Measures to curb pandemic trigger protests
August 2021 | Conflict Alert # 418
Peru: Protests a sign of challenges facing Castillo
July 2021 | Conflict Alert # 411
Wildfires: Siberia to the US
July 2021 | Conflict Alert # 409
Bosnia: 26 years after the Srebrenica Massacre

July 2021 | Conflict Alert # 405
Colombia: Two months of protests

June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 399
Myanmar: New UNGA resolution
June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 397
Myanmar: The Aung San Suu Kyi trial begins

June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 390
Burkina Faso: Another massacre in Africa
June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 386
Nigeria: Another mass abduction grips Niger state
June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 385
Colombia: The protests continue

May 2021 | Conflict Alert # 382
Israel-Hamas ceasefire: The long road to peace
May 2021 | Conflict Alert # 380
Colombia: Three weeks of protests
May 2021 | Conflict Alert # 378
Israel-Palestine: Who wants what?
May 2021 | Conflict Alert # 374
Yemen: The Battle for Marib rages on
April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 371
Pakistan: Meetings with Afghan leaders
April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 369
Israel-Syria: Continuing Missile Strikes

April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 362
Iran: Another act of
April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 358
India: Another Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh
April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 356
Global Gender Gap Report 2021: Main Takeaways
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 353
Niger: 137 massacred in the latest attack by gunmen
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 351
Yemen: Saudi Arabia announces ceasefire
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 347
Australia: Women fight against sexual violence 
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 345
The US: The George Floyd trial begins
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 340
Syria: UN report calls for a complete ceasefire
February 2021 | Conflict Alert # 333
South Korea: The 'Comfort Women' issue returns to haunt
January 2021 | Conflict Alert # 222
Russia: Pro-Navalny protests turn anti-government 

January 2021 | Conflict Alert # 220
COVID-19: The Vaccine Wars
December 2020 | Conflict Alert # 200
India: Farmers' protests intensify as deadlock persists
November 2020 | Conflict Alert # 191
Pakistan: Anti-French protests called off
October 2020 | Conflict Alert # 174
Bangladesh: Protests intensify against sexual violence
October 2020 | Conflict Alert # 167
India crosses 6 million-mark in COVID-19 cases
September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 166
Pakistan: The persisting polio problem
September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 156
Pakistan: Targeted Violence continues in Waziristan
September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 154
The anti-Racist Protests in the US: Between
August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 148
Israel and UAE normalize relations
August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 146
Bolivia: Protests against the Election postponement
August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 138
In Iraq, the protestors return to the streets 
July 2020 | Conflict Alert # 118
J&K: Geelani's Exit and Continuing Violence
June 2020 | Conflict Alert # 105
Black Lives Matter brings the US to its knees
May 2020 | Conflict Alert # 86
Libya: Khalifa Haftar announces ceasefire 
May 2020 | Conflict Alert # 81
India: The surge in violence in J&K
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 71
Afghanistan: 300 Taliban prisoners released
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 67
Syria: New UN Report on Idlib
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 64
A lethal impact on the Refugee/Migrant Camps 

April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 63
Indigenous Communities battle a complete wipeout 
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 51
Coronavirus & China: Fall in numbers 
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 47
Coronavirus & Nepal: In the second stage, cancels
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 44
Two Presidents in Afghanistan

March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 42
'Aurat March': A New beginning across Pakistan 
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 38
Sri Lanka withdraws from 30/1 Geneva Resolution
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 35
A ceasefire between Israel, Islamic Jihad in Gaza
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 34
Libya: rivals withdraw from Geneva peace talks
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 33
India: Violence in Delhi
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 32
Afghanistan: Seven Days of Peace

February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 31
Climate Change Fallouts: Impacts the Bird population
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 28
Pakistan: Court convicts LeT founder Hafiz Saeed

February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 27
Pakistan: Suicide terrorism returns to haunt Quetta
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 26
Afghanistan: The US-Taliban Seven Day Deal
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 24
Israel: Violence in post  Trump-deal

January 2020 | Conflict Alert # 20
Kenya: Al Shabab and a week of killings

December 2019 | Conflict Alert # 19
Citizenship Amendment Bill:2019
November 2019 | Conflict Alert # 18
Lebanon: PM Hariri quits, but protests continue 
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 16
Bolivian unrest

October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 15
Hundreds protest in Haiti
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 14
Protests rock Chile
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 13
Hong Kong Violence: A divide within
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 12
Spain: The trouble in Catalonia

October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 11
Turkey's Offensive in Syria
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 9
Africa to be Polio Free
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 7
Myanmar: Teenage girls traded as brides to China
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 6
Moscow Protests: Thousands rally in Moscow
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 3
Jordan Restores diplomatic ties with Qatar