Mittwoch, 17.04.2024 / 21:50 Uhr

Sudan: 'Leichenberge häufen sich auf'

Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Vor knapp einem Jahr ist der Bürgerkrieg im Sudan ausgebrochen, der, wie  im Guardian schreibt eigentlich kein Krieg zwischen Bürgern, sondern einer gegen die gesamte Bevölkerung des Landes ist, nur stößt er auf wenig Interesse im Westen:

The army – and here is the long history – which established the RSF in the first place from remnants of the infamous Janjaweed troops it partnered with in Darfur to help it savagely suppress rebellion in the region – has so far been unable to prevail against its own creation. The result is a fluid situation, with gains and losses for both parties, no discernible frontline, and millions of Sudanese people caught in the middle.

It’s not so much a civil war as it is a war against civilians, whose homes, livelihoods and very lives have been the collateral damage so far. It is two tragedies overlaid. The first is of a country that until last year, although beset with conflict and dictatorship, had managed to maintain its integrity – and with it a sense that there was a way through its troubles, after which it could achieve its potential.

The war, despite all that led up to it, was not inevitable, was not the foreseeable fate of a country where ethnic differences necessitated conflict. It was the result of an economic model of centralisation where dominant parties in the centre preyed on, and extracted from, the periphery. One of the largest countries in Africa, with a sparkling coast along the Red Sea, fertile land across the Nile River, and the sort of cultural and ethnic diversity that could be harnessed into a powerhouse of Arab and African convergence, Sudan was always held back by an entitled few who wouldn’t share. (...)

This is a different war from the one waged in Darfur, which drew in celebrities, politicians and even the international criminal court in previous years. And it is different from the war between the north and south, which also attracted so much advocacy and political pressure that a peace agreement and secession was secured. It is not, as in the past, a conflict resonantly framed as Muslims against Christians, or Arabs against Africans, stirring sympathy and outrage. It is the challenge of a new configuration of political and economic entrepreneurs who wish to displace the old military cluster of ruling parties – but with no experience and even less interest in actually running parts of the state captured in the meantime.

On a political level Sudan falls, and has always done, low on the list of priorities for power brokers in the west, who have few interests in the country. They either crudely isolated it through sanctions or, after the revolution, naively and hastily tried to marshal the two armed parties to agreement and a de-facto return to a militarised, centralised status quo.