Today the African Union Announced Plans to Mediate in Sudan’s Civil War

Today the African Union Announced Plans to Mediate in Sudan’s Civil War


Today the African Union announced that it plans mediation soon between Sudan’s army and the Rapid Support Forces. Explainer on these warring parties here.

The bad news: The UN reports that famine is imminent in Sudan and the neighboring nations where millions have fled; while the Yale School of Public Health published recent photographic evidence of ongoing ethnic cleansing in the El-Fasher area of Sudan.

The unsurprising news: still no announcement of who “won” Sudan’s first-ever presidential election, a mostly boycotted event held in mid-April, 2024. Scanning both local Sudanese and international news media, this event has gone down the memory hole.

Good or bad, depending upon how this plays out: Russia is planning a naval base on Sudan’s Red Sea coast. Good news, if Russia helps to make Suez shipping safe again. Bad, if Russia ever does to Suez traffic what it has recently done in the Black Sea

Excerpts from recent Sudan news stories:

Dateline June 3, 2024– [Via Google translate, Arabic to English] The African Union high-level mechanism for restoring stability in Sudan decided, on Monday, to facilitate a comprehensive dialogue between the Sudanese parties within weeks.

The two vice-presidents of the leadership body for the Coordination of Civil Democratic Forces “Taqaddam” Al-Hadi Idris and Hiyam Bushra, and the two members of the body, Asma Mahmoud and Bakri Al-Jak, and the Secretary-General of the Alliance, Al-Siddiq Al-Mahdi, met with the African mechanism headed by Mohamed Chambas, Simbusa and Wander.

The [Sudan’s] army requires lifting the freeze on Sudan’s membership in the African Union in exchange for agreeing to any solutions issued by it regarding the existing conflict, as the continental bloc froze the country’s membership after the coup carried out by the commanders of the army and Rapid Support on October 25, 2021.

Dateline May 31, 2024 In a bleak assessment of the dire situation in Sudan where conflict is in its second year, the heads of 19 global humanitarian organizations issued an alert that further obstacles to providing aid “rapidly and at scale” will mean that “more people will die”.   [emphasis in original]

UN aid coordination office OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke told reporters in Geneva that famine is “likely to take hold in large parts of the country, more people will flee to neighbouring countries, children will succumb to disease and malnutrition and women and girls will face even greater suffering and dangers”.

Dateline May 31-2024 Russia is planning to build a logistical support center on Sudan’s Red Sea coast, which it likely intends to use to advance its efforts to secure a Russian naval base in Sudan. [emphasis in original] Russia’s backing of the SAF aligns Iranian and Russian policies and strategies in the region. This enables the Kremlin to coordinate aid with Iran, which is already sending drones to the SAF. The shift may also free up Russian resources to use in Ukraine and other areas of Africa. Russia’s backing of the SAF additionally risks undermining impending US-backed peace talks.

Dateline May 29, 2024 RSF Burning Agricultural Communities Close to El-Fasher and Razing of Civilian Dwellings inside the City

The Yale School of Public Health’s Humanitarian Research Lab (HRL) identifies individuated damage consistent with intentional attacks in the southeast neighborhood inside El-Fasher city consistent with RSF. Individuated damage refers to houses and other buildings burned by dismounted infantry. Approximately 50 structures, likely houses, are visible with active smoke plumes as well as visible active fire in imagery from 26 May 2024. The thermal scarring and smoke plumes are visible at specific buildings and notably not at other buildings and do not cross the roads or other space between buildings indicating selection. The selective nature of these burnt structures in proximity to unburnt structures, as well as the absence of ground scarring between them without impact cratering, are consistent with a targeted ground-based attack.

Source: Caitlin N. Howarth, Kaveh Khoshnood, Nathaniel A. Raymond et al. “RSF Burning Agricultural Communities Close to El-Fasher and Razing of Civilian Dwellings inside the City.” 29 May 2024. Humanitarian Research Lab at Yale School of Public Health: New Haven. Learn more at and


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  • Carolyn Meinel

    Meinel has written many books, magazine articles, and research papers. She currently is President and CEO of the nonprofit BestWorld, Inc. and is a professional forecaster of geopolitical events at INFER, a project of RAND.

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