Explainer: Why has violence erupted in Sudan?
Violence has gripped the North African nation, leading to the attempted evacuation of almost 150 Irish citizens.
In October 2021, the Sudanese Army and a paramilitary group named Rapid Support Forces (RSF), overthrew the country's civilian government.
Since their accession to power, tension has been building over who controls what levers of authority within the government.
On April 15th, this tension finally boiled over, manifesting itself in violent fighting around Sudan's capital city, Khartoum- one of Africa's largest urban centres.
Back in 2019, a coup d'etat saw the Islamist autocratic leader Omar al-Bashir ousted from power, bringing about what was an ultimately short-lived civilian-led government.
A plan to transition back to a civilian government, which had been backed by other nation states, was due to be signed by both the Army and RSF earlier this month.
However, with the deal requiring both entities to relinquish power, the handover failed to take place.
This proved to be the incendiary moment of the conflict, with the RSF claiming that the Sudanese Army along with Bashir loyalists were looking to reclaim full power of the country.
On the ground, there is a confirmed death toll of 420 people, a figure which includes 264 civilians, along with an additional 3,700 people reported wounded.
The international response has so far seen most major nations close their embassies and evacuate citizens, including Ireland.
With 150 Irish citizens confirmed to have been present in Sudan at the outbreak of the fighting, 50 have so far been able to flee the country.
Irish defence forces were deployed to the region to assist in the evacuations, although due to a lack of capable aircraft, the assistance of Spanish and French forces were required to aid in the rescuing of Irish citizens.
As fighting intensifies, the outlook for the conflict remains uncertain. Other nation states with vested interests in the region are also at odds over the appropriate response.
The United States would like to see a return to the proposed civilian government, but other powers such as Russia and China hold much influence in the region too.
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