Spotlight on Sudan: Amplifying Sudanese Perspectives
Earlier this year we began having internal conversations about how Humanity United could meaningfully recognize and reflect on the 20-year anniversary of the genocide in Darfur. Given our history of working on Sudan, we recognize that the situation in the country is tenuous and we wanted to avoid causing harm or further division. As a result, we sought to be deliberate in how we approached this reflection. We decided to collaborate with the Sudanese American Community Development Organization (SACDO), a diaspora group based in the greater Washington, D.C. area, on a blog series reflecting on the genocide in Darfur through the amplification of Sudanese voices.
Our plans were solidified, until April 15, 2023 when Sudan once again appeared at a precipice. That same day, our partners at SACDO invited our team to attend one of their weekend community iftars during Ramadan. Hours before the event, news broke of violent clashes between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary group. We attended the event, expecting attendance to be low and the mood to be somber. Instead, there was a large turnout and intense energy among those who attended. Young and old Sudanese community members came together to break their fast, make protest signs, and pray together. A few weeks after the event, we met with SACDO and agreed it was more important than ever to amplify the voices of Sudanese people.
Seven months later, the war continues. Sudan has been named one of the worst humanitarian nightmares in recent history with 9,000 people killed, more than 5.6 million driven from their homes to other parts of Sudan or neighboring countries, and 25 million people in need of aid. The situation is especially critical in Darfur, where RSF militias are accused of ethnically targeted violence, and in Khartoum where the army has been bombing RSF ground forces with little regard for the millions of people trapped in the city. According to the UN, fully addressing the humanitarian crisis resulting from this war will cost an estimated $3 billion – a request it has made to international donors. Despite the severity of the crisis, Sudanese civilians are yet to see any relief from the terror that they continue to face.
The latest round of ceasefire talks ended on Nov. 7, falling short of a ceasefire but leading to an agreement to participate in a joint humanitarian forum led by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). As Sudanese civilians begin to chart the next steps in restoring Sudan’s democratic governance, Humanity United, in partnership with SACDO, is offering our platform and sharing a variety of perspectives from members of the Sudanese community in the United States, Sudan and around the globe. Their voices, though often excluded, are critical for defining and shaping solutions to end the war.
Over the next three months, we hope that the stories we share will provide context for those new to this conflict, offer a Sudanese lens on the international community’s response, highlight the roles that civilians and civil society groups are now playing and provide greater insight through personal accounts. We hope that these stories create the space and awareness needed to ensure that Sudanese people receive and realize lasting peace.