♦ Sudan: This week’s news in brief ♦

One Sudanese Pound note from 1987, featuring the old Central Bank of Sudan office in Khartoum (File photo)

A compact digest of the past week’s most-read highlights, from the heart of Sudan. Subscribe to receive this digest weekly in your inbox.

Sudan’s banking system ‘teeters on collapse’ amid ongoing war and looting

23/07/2023 – KHARTOUM. Sudanese economists have issued a stark warning about the nation’s banking system, which they say is facing a “severe decline and may collapse entirely”. The ongoing war between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has led to numerous instances of looting, vandalism, and destruction at Sudan’s banks, leaving the country’s financial stability and functionality in peril.

The banking crisis is further exacerbated by the fact that millions of workers have not received their salaries since the war began in mid-April. Sudan’s soaring prices of goods and services and the fact that manufacturing has become limited and insufficient contribute to the problems. A collapse of the system could also pose severe challenges to humanitarian organisations active in Sudan.

Darfur action plan meeting in Togo criticised for ‘whitewashing’ RSF war crimes

25/07/2023 – LOMÉ, TOGO. The consultative meeting to discuss an action plan to avoid Darfur sliding into ‘full-blown civil war’ has been criticised by rebel movements and Darfuri unions as an initiative that is meant to provide a “way out” from accountability for recent war crimes committed by RSF and their allies. The two-day consultative meeting that included the RSF, former officials, political leaders, and armed movements kicked off on Sunday in Lomé, Togo.

Some prominent rebel movements in Darfur declined to participate in the meeting. The Darfur Union in the UK said that the meeting aims to “whitewash RSF/janjaweed war crimes in the region” and shift the narrative about who is responsible for the widespread killing and sexual violence.

Army accused of allowing violence to engulf Sirba in West Darfur
31/07/2023 – SIRBA. Legal rights activist Mohamed Teirab estimates that at least 460 people have died in the fighting in Sirba in West Darfur, with more than a thousand people wounded. Teirab, the Darfur Bar Association, and local tribal leaders accuse the army of failing to protect civilians.
WHO Chad: 65 children dead in Sudan camps amid dire health conditions
31/07/2023 – N’DJAMENA / KHARTOUM. The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Chad warns of dire health conditions for children in camps for displaced Sudanese people, with 65 children reported dead because of malnourishment since late July.
MSF appeals to Sudan health authorities to expedite measles vaccines
30/07/2023 – KOSTI. Teams from Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) working in camps sheltering displaced people and refugees are facing debilitating pressure as the number of suspected cases of measles and malnutrition among children rises. The organisation also needs more experienced staff from abroad.
Sudan war: RSF seize Sirba in West Darfur, heavy battles in Nyala and Khartoum
28/07/2023 – SIRBA / NYALA / KHARTOUM / OMDURMAN / KHARTOUM BAHRI. The paramilitary RSF and allied gunmen took control of Sirba, West Darfur, on Wednesday, preventing people from leaving the town. Many residents of Nyala fled their homes after heavy fighting resumed in the city. Battles between the army and the RSF continued in Khartoum state.
UK targets Russia’s Wagner group in new Sudan sanctions
27/07/2023 – LONDON/ BRUSSELS / WASHINGTON D.C. The British government has selected five new targets for sanctions in Sudan, including three companies that they allege are a front for the Russian Wagner Group. According to an official communique last week, they identified a web of mining and investment companies, all inextricably linked to one another.
RSF accused of killings, robberies and sexual violence
25/07/2023 – UM RUWABA / MERSHING / KHARTOUM The RSF have been accused of killing civilians and raiding markets in North Kordofan, conducting robberies in South Darfur, and perpetrating sexual violence throughout Sudan.
Sudan army/RSF clashes continue in El Obeid
23/07/2023 – EL OBEID / KHARTOUM / OMDURMAN / NYALA. Fierce clashes between SAF and RSF in the North Kordofan capital El Obeid persisted for a second day since Thursday. Reports suggest the conflict resulted in at least four fatalities and several injuries, with both sides engaged in heavy gunfire and the SAF employing their trump card of military aviation in order to repel the RSF.
Sudan politicians and Darfur rebel leaders to meet in Togo
21/07/2023 EL FASHER. Sudanese activists, politicians, and Darfuri rebel leaders will convene a consultative meeting in Togo on Sunday and Monday to discuss an action plan to prevent the Darfur region from sliding into ‘a full-blown civil war’.
More people killed in battles in El Obeid and Sudan capital
21/07/2023 – KHARTOUM / OMDURMAN / EL OBEID. Fighting between Sudanese army soldiers and RSF paramilitaries continued in Omdurman, while the clashes in Khartoum expanded. At least 14 civilians were killed. In El Obeid, North Kordofan, people died in renewed fighting.