Date: Monday, 21 September 2020
In late August and early September, Sudan made significant progress toward ending its worst internal wars. On August 31 the transitional government reached an agreement with the SRF rebel coalition. In exchange for parliamentary seats, the rebels will end their rebellion and participate in electoral politics. On September 3 the government reached an agreement with one of the rebel groups fighting in the South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. In that agreement the government agreed to secularize Sudan’s politics (ie, end Islamist dominance and have no official state religion). In addition, several thousand rebel fighters will be integrated into Sudan’s security forces and displaced persons will be returned to their homes. The second agreement could do more than end the wars (plural) in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. It could well forward national reconciliation, which is an objective prime minister Abdalla Hamdok says he seeks. Hamdok is also working on a permanent peace deal in the Darfur region. Prior peace agreements in Darfur failed. But former dictator Omar al Bashir is no longer in power. Hamdok appears to be convincing rebel leaders that he means to end Sudan’s internal combat. (Austin Bay)
September 20, 2020: Foreign mass media speculate that recent talks between Sudan and the UAE could lead to a Sudan-Israel peace agreement of some type. Economic decline and recent floods have increased Sudan’s need for economic assistance and food aid. The UAE, which just signed a peace deal with Israel, has indicated it is willing to supply Sudan’s transitional government with economic assistance.
September 19, 2020: American diplomats are pushing for removing Sudan from the U.S. State Sponsor of Terrorism list. This means Sudan could be removed from the list before November’s American presidential election. Sudan still has to settle around $340 million in damage claims made by the families of victims of Sudan-related terror attacks. The attacks occurred during the decades of dictator Omar al Bashirs’ rule.
September 16, 2020: In eastern South Sudan (Jonglei state) the UN warned that tribal warfare in Jonglei state and covid19 virus had increased instability in South Sudan. Concerns over spreading the virus has slowed implementation of the peace agreement. The fighting in Jonglei state involves the Nuer, Murle and Dinka tribes. Fighting among those tribes has killed over 600 people since March 2020. In southern South Sudan (Central Equatoria state) rebels belonging to the National Salvation Front have sporadically engaged soldiers in that state.
September 10, 2020: Sudan declared a new economic state of emergency. The value of its currency has plummeted since July. The government announced it will criminalize the purchasing, selling, possessing or transporting (smuggling) of unrefined gold and other precious metals. The economic state of emergency is in addition to the natural disaster emergency caused by severe flooding.
September 9, 2020: Sudan reported that Nile River level measurements made on August 27 were the highest since 1912, when the Nile River was 17.14 meters (55 feet) over flood stage. In August 2020 it was 17.48 meters. So far, the August and September floods have killed over 100 people.
September 7, 2020: Sudan declared the country has suffered a natural disaster due to recent flooding. The declaration establishes a national state of emergency for three months. Flooding caused by heavy rain has affected 17 of Sudan’s 18 states.
September 4, 2020: In South Sudan the UN has begun withdrawing peacekeepers from the civilian protection camps. The UN is shifting forces to deal with tribal violence elsewhere in the country, particularly Jonglei state.
September 3, 2020: In Sudan the government and rebel groups in central Sudan (South Kordofan state) and the southeast (Blue Nile state) have reached a peace agreement.
Since August 19 Sudan’s security forces have arrested 41 suspected terrorists in raids. Most of the raids took place in the capital (Khartoum). In several raids the security forces seized large stocks of explosives. The paramilitary RSF (Rapid Support Forces) led the operation. The RSF indicated that several of the individuals arrested are suspected of being involved in the March assassination attempt on prime minister Hamdok.
September 2, 2020: In Sudan the government confirmed that it is continuing to meet with SRF (Sudan Revolutionary Front) representatives. The negotiators are discussing how to implement the August 31 peace deal.
August 31, 2020: In Sudan the transitional government signed a major peace agreement with the SRF. At least five rebel groups have agreed to end their armed resistance.
August 28, 2020: In South Sudan the government in under pressure from donor nations to investigate the fate of the thousands of the “vanished” – a term for people who disappeared during the civil war. Most are presumed dead but same may be in forced captivity. The civil war began in December 2013 and South Sudan has survived because of food and other aid from donor nations. Those donors want an end to the violence that led to the “vanished” as well punishment for the perpetrators.
August 24, 2020: In Sudan illegal gold miners using mechanical digging machines have destroyed a two millennia old archaeological site in the Sahara Desert 272 kilometers (170 miles) north of the capital (Khartoum). The site dates from 350 BC. Sudan is Africa's third largest gold producer of gold after South Africa and Ghana.
August 22, 2020: In Sudan the government announced it is ready to cooperate with the International Criminal Court in the prosecution of war crimes committed in western Sudan (Darfur). Toppled dictator Omar al-Bashir is among those accused of committing genocide and war crimes in Darfur.
August 19, 2020: The Sudan the government fired a foreign ministry spokesman who told reporters that the government was discussing normalizing ties with Israel.
UN officials have made an urgent appeal for $1.6 billion in aid to assist Sudanese citizens affected by recent flooding. Several hundreds of thousands of people are at risk.
August 18, 2020: Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia have agreed to discuss new proposals on how to address problems with Ethiopia’s controversial Nile River hydroelectric dam project, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
August 17, 2020: Sudan’s transitional government marked one year in power. The transitional government operates on a civilian-military power-sharing deal.