As the war in Sudan enters its seventh month, millions of Africans continue to be displaced and thousands killed. According to the latest reports, the death toll has reached 9000 and African women and children remain the front-line victims, living on the run with their children in refugee encampments. It’s commonplace to hear of 20 women being raped in one day.
Despite the enormous casualties, the outrage and resolutions are lukewarm.
Desensitized to violence in Africa
This may be because Sudan has been embroiled in violent internal struggles since the end of direct British colonial rule. Over 3 million Africans lost their lives in the First and Second Sudanese wars combined (1955-2003).
In many places in the world 3 million is the population of an entire country. Yet, in Africa, human casualties of this magnitude seem to be par for the course. During the Darfur genocide (2007 – 2009), over 300,000 people were killed, and 2.7 million people were displaced.
For a time, conditions seemed hopeful when the Sudanese people initiated a revolution, culminating in the 2019 coup d’état that ousted the neo-colonial president, Omar Bashir, ending his 30-year reign. This event ushered in an interim military government leadership.
Even this outcome was ominous because Bashir also came to power in the same way.
The portrayal of ongoing turmoil in Sudan as an inherent trait of Africans, perpetuating a cycle of continuous killing, masks the root causes of the crisis, imperialism.
The foundation of all wars in Africa is colonialism.
Initially colonized by the Ottoman Empire (1821 – 1882), Sudan eventually became a colony of the British Empire which divided the country into two regions based on ethnicity. North Sudan is predominately Muslim and Arab-Speaking while South Sudan is ethnically and religiously diverse. Under British colonialism ethnic differences were exploited. Upon ending direct colonial rule in 1956, the British ceded power to the Arab-speaking north.
Since then, struggles have been rooted in maintaining or achieving power amongst the various ethnic groups of Sudan. Election outcomes hinge on tribal support rather than a commitment to addressing the essential needs and aspirations of the people.
And while there have been revolutionary struggles to end the ethnic divisions exacerbated under colonialism, the violence persists.
The perpetuation of ethnic conflicts in Sudan is intricately linked to the backing of opposing factions by imperialist forces aiming to secure unrestricted access to Sudan’s abundant natural resources. Additionally, the control of Sudan’s strategically positioned port on the Red Sea further fuels the geopolitical interests of foreign nations who want to control access to the Middle East, Africa and Europe.
The current Sudanese conflict is no different from those of the past, in that it emerges from the colonial ethnic division, representing a split in the ruling factions of African petit bourgeoise and it is backed by foreign interests.
General Abdul Fattah al-Burhan who leads the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Abdul Rahim Hamdan Dagalo (Hemedti) who leads Rapid Support Forces (RSF) were once colleagues who carried out the 2019 military coup against Omar Bashir. Now they are embroiled in a lethal battle for supremacy. Whoever wins will emerge as Sudan’s chief exploiter, able to negotiate with the clamoring imperialists biding their time.
Despite whom is declared the victor, the power attained won’t be used to benefit the impoverished masses of African people. Instead, it will be wielded to control extensive reserves of these resources, strategically selling them to the highest bidder. Prioritizing personal gain and external interests over the welfare of the Sudanese people.
Genocide Plain and Simple
The extermination and displacement of the Sudanese people is genocide, plain and simple and it is funded by U.S. imperialism.
While the U.S. has condemned the violence, its stance lacks a definitive position. It strategically navigates the unfolding events, tolerating genocidal gentrification. The ongoing violence serves as a catalyst for forced migration, displacing 6.9 million Africans in Sudan over the past two decades—scattering them across the country, Africa, and beyond.
This calculated upheaval guarantees the removal of the natural custodians of the land, eliminating potential opposition. Moreover, Sudan’s resource-rich landscape, undoubtedly worth billions annually, adds another layer.
The U.S. assumes the role of peacekeepers within the framework, advocating for ceasefires while concurrently injecting substantial funds into the crisis. So far in 2023 the U.S. has given $60 million from USAID and an additional $100 million from the U.S. State Department, standing as the principal contributor of what they call “humanitarian aid” to Sudan supposedly meant to “improve women’s health and eliminate gender-based violence,” according to their website. They allocate hundreds of millions of dollars annually, yet crises persist for women, children and men with no way of tracking these funds.
Considering that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. State Department are extensions of the U.S. military we can deduce that the aid provided may be fueling U.S. interest in the region inciting the armed military conflicts, contributing to one of the most extensive displacements of human beings in recent history.
At the same time as the U.S. openly financially supports the Zionist state of Israel fueling the genocide of the Palestinian people, we can also conclude that funneling money into Sudan, under the cover of aid, will help the U.S. establish supremacy in the region, should they succeed.
Too often African women are the visible victims of war and conflict, which results in imperialist created interventionist strategies that center violence against women. We become the rationale given to the public for imperialist military interventions and imperialist funded nongovernmental organization charities, that we know don’t solve any problems for women. African women still suffer under the colonial mode of production and the only solution that will end our suffering is for us to engage in the anti-colonial resistance.
U.S. imperialism must go!
African women must lead!