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Sudan timeline April - June 2022: Popular resistance to junta escalates, banditry and intercommunal strife in Darfur and across Sudan as 15 million face hunger

July 31 - 2022 DABANGA SUDAN
Protesters take to streets in Khartoum in the Marches of the Millions in June
Protesters take to streets in Khartoum in the Marches of the Millions in June

The second quarter of 2022 witnessed an escalation of popular resistance to the ruling military junta in Sudan, presided over by Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, and Lt Gen Mohamed ‘Hemeti’ Dagalo. Lawlessness and banditry by armed groups scourge Darfur and Kordofan, while inter-communal and tribal clashes erupted across the country.

The start of talks between Sudanese stakeholders facilitated by the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), African Union (AU), and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Trilateral Mechanism, offered a glimmer of hope, despite an often testy relationship between the Khartoum junta and the international community.

In May, El Burhan lifted the national State of Emergency after seven months while pro-democracy demonstrations continued across Khartoum and other cities. The Sudanese authorities also began releasing people detained for their participation in pro-democracy demonstrations.

Tribal violence in June saw more than 125 people killed and an estimated 125,000 displaced in clashes in West Darfur alone. Ongoing violent suppression of pro-democracy demonstrations saw more protesters killed and wounded with live ammunition.

Meanwhile, deepened by the fact that Sudan has lost $4,364 billion in aid from the international community in the eight months since the October 2021 military coup d’état, the Sudanese economy falters as the Sudanese Pound continues its downward spiral against international currencies, and an increasing number of people across Sudan face hunger and destitution as food prices reach unaffordable heights, amid warnings from the UN World Food Programme (WFP) that 15 million people in Sudan are facing acute food insecurity.

A meeting between Sudanese stakeholders facilitated by the
UNITAMS-AU-IGAD Trilateral Mechanism

 

April: Violence and lawlessness continue in Sudan, including tribal clashes in several parts of the country. Protests against the military junta continue throughout Sudan. Representatives of the international community begin talks with Sudanese parties on the political crisis in the country, though the main opposition groups, the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) and the resistance committees refuse to talk with the military junta.

April 1: The head of Sudan’s Sovereignty Council, Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, threatens to expel the head of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), Volker Perthes, accusing him of interfering in Sudanese affairs. Tribal clashes in South Darfur leave 30 dead and several homes burned. The Central Committee of Sudan Doctors reports that one protestor was killed, and dozens were injured during the March of the Millions in Khartoum, on March 31.

April 3: The Red Sea Electricity Department announces the departure of a Turkish power ship, due to the government’s failure to meet the ship’s financial obligations of 10 million Euros.

April 4: The former United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) headquarters in El Fasher, North Darfur, is again subjected to armed looting.

April 5: Leaders of the Beni Amer, Habab, and Sibarat tribes sign an accord to put an end to inter-tribal hostilities that erupted in eastern Sudan over the last few days. Darfur janjaweed leader Ali Kushayb pleads ‘not guilty’ to all 31 charges in International Criminal Court (ICC) trial. The National Accord split-off faction of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC-NA), which is dominated by rebel signatories of the October 2020 Juba Peace Agreement, announces its new structure.

April 6: Emergency Lawyers protest the transport of than 100 political detainees from Soba Prison in Khartoum to prisons in Debek, Kosti, and Port Sudan, and call it a crime.

April 6: One protestor is killed and at least 78 are injured in Khartoum during demonstrations commemorating the 6 April 2019 protests against the 30-year dictatorship of Omar Al Bashir.

April 9: The Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) alliance of rebel groups that signed the Jube Peace Agreement and whose members kept to their government positions following the October 2021 coup d’état, presents initiative to end the political crisis in the country.

April 10: Darfur governors address security issues in a meeting in Central Darfur. In Sirba, West Darfur, at least 12 villagers are shot dead in attacks by gunmen. Teachers in South Darfur strike for ‘new structure’ salaries.

April 11: Authorities in Khartoum detain activists amid Sudan’s revolution anniversary protests.

April 12: According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Sudan, approximately 81 per cent of the population does not have access to a functional health centre within a two-hour walk from their home. The SRF rebel alliance presents its political initiative to solve the Sudan crisis to the Sudan Troika (Norway, UK, and USA) and the European Union (EU).

April 14: Gunmen wearing uniforms of the Sudanese Armed Forces killed at least 42 people in armed robberies on the disputed Sudan-South Sudan border area of Abyei. Emergency Lawyers condemns the security forces recent violent campaign against activists in Khartoum.

Sudan junta leader Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan (File photo: SUNA)

 

April 15: The President of the Sovereignty Council, Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, orders a review of the State of Emergency and the release of political detainees ‘within days’, to prepare for dialogue between the military junta and opposition groups.

April 17: Two young protestors, accused of murdering a police officer, have been tortured in prison, lawyers say.

April 18: People in various parts of Sudan are suffering from a drinking water crisis. The mainstream FFC-Central Council tells UN-Int’l effort that ‘Sudan’s future should be guided by the principles of the revolution‘.

April 19: The UN World Food Programme warns for a significant increase in food insecurity in Sudan. A group of 20 Sudanese and international human rights and civil society organisations appeal to the international community “to draw attention to the growing threats of racism, hate speech and intolerance in Sudan“. Intelligence officers hold and torture an activist in El Gedaref, eastern Sudan, before releasing him.

April 20: The Ministry of Finance pledges to disburse civil servants’ salaries according to the new salary structure as announced in January. The SRF rebel alliance remains committed to extraditing human rights violators to the ICC or the Darfur War Crimes Special Court, as stipulated in the Juba Peace Agreement.

April 21: The Sudanese government presents its vision for the role of UNITAMS in the country’s democratic transition. In an attempt to combat the increasing number of petty crimes, the Khartoum state governor has banned pillion riders on motorcycles.

April 22: Sudan’s drinking water crisis continues.

April 23: The ruling junta releases 25 Resistance Committees activists held during the protests against the military, however leading FFC members and members of the suspended Empowerment Removal Committee (ERC) remain in detention.

April 24: At least 168 people are killed and 110 injured in the area of Kereinik in West Darfur that witnessed another attack by Arab gunmen on Masalit villages in three days. The RSF militia is accused of involvement in the ongoing tribal strife. Security forces detain an activist in El Gedaref and three others in South Kordofan.

Soba Prison in Khartoum (File photo: Human Rights Watch)

 

April 25: The authorities release four ERC members from Soba prison in Khartoum. In El Gezira, a Christian pastor is convicted for ‘breach of public safety’ after conducting prayers in a disputed church.

April 26: The death toll of the violence in Kereinik, West Darfur, increases to more than 200 people. The European Union (EU) says that the Juba Peace Agreement signatories are responsible for containing the security situation in Darfur. Governor of Darfur, Minni Minawi stated that the security forces in Darfur “need to be reformed and privatised“.

April 27: Following the release of more ERC members, committee leader Wajdi Saleh is released on bail.

April 28: Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports that Sudan’s security forces have unlawfully detained hundreds of protesters since December 2021 as part of its broader clampdown on the opposition to the October 25 military coup. Vice President of the Sovereignty Council Mohamed ‘Hemeti’ Dagalo acknowledges the failure of the Sudanese authorities to protect the people of West Darfur. Representatives of the Sudan Troika, senior French and German officials, and EU representatives begin talks with Sudanese parties on the current crisis in the country. The FFC and resistance committees categorically refuse to talk with the 2021 “coup authorities”.

April 30: The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) calls for an immediate cessation of intercommunal violence and attacks on healthcare facilities in West Darfur, to enable the resumption of humanitarian assistance. The continuing violence in West Darfur killed at least 200 people last week, the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors (CCSD) reported.

May: Tribal violence and banditry continue to be reported across Sudan. The AU-IGAD-UN Trilateral Mechanism continues talks with various Sudanese parties in a bid to solve the political crises following October’s coup. El Burhan lifts the national State of Emergency after seven months while pro-democracy demonstrations continue across Khartoum and other cities. The Sudanese authorities begin releasing people detained for their participation in pro-democracy demonstrations. The USA passes an ‘anti-coup draft resolution’ in Senate expressing support with the Sudanese people.

May 2: Addressing the public after Eid El Fitr prayers, the governor of West Darfur calls on all sectors of society to renounce violence and tribalism. The leader of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) calls on all revolutionary forces to make concessions in order to reach a comprehensive political settlement. Emergency Lawyers confirm Sudan’s junta release of 14 detainees from various prisons on the first day of Eid El Fitr.

May 3: The Ansar Affairs Authority welcomes the trilateral initiative of UNITAMS, African Union (AU), and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to facilitate negotiations between different parties to resolve the current political crisis. Political detainees held in Soba prison begin a hunger strike demanding either release or a fair trial.

May 4: The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says between 85,000 and 115,000 people are displaced due to recent violence in Kereinik, West Darfur.

May 5: Khartoum’s resistance committees lead a march towards the Republican Palace in the city centre, demanding the overthrow of the coup and removal of military leaders.

May 6: The Ministry of Education in North Darfur announces resumption of studies in all schools across the state following months of disruption over pay and security.

May 8: The South Darfur Security Committee begin a manhunt for gunmen who killed three people in Kalma camp for the displaced.

A worker pans for gold in an informal mining area in Sudan.
The pool has mercury in it, posing a health risk to the miners (Leyland Cecco)

 

May 9: A Sudanese environmentalist warns of ‘frightening’ environmental damage and serious public health problems of traditional mining in River Nile state. Banditry continues across Darfur. Protesters in Red Sea state close the gates of the Ariab gold production company in protest against the targeting of their fellow Beja deputy general manager.

May 10: The authorities in Khartoum release 17 political detainees, while more than 70 others remain behind bars.

May 11: Gen Mohamed ‘Hemeti’ Dagalo expresses astonishment at the Forces for Freedom and Change refusal to enter a dialogue with the military junta. More than 100 international activists and human rights groups sign an open letter to the White House requesting sanctions be imposed on Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan and Hemeti, leaders of the October coup,. A falling Sudan Pound sees North Darfur fuel price soar. The acting wali (governor) of Kassala imposes a curfew in the state to contain tribal clashes. A UNITAMS delegation assesses the situation in North Darfur following UNAMID’s withdrawal.

May 12: The FFN-NA group announce indirect talks on the Sudanese crisis at the invitation of the AU-IGAD-UNITAMS Trilateral Mechanism . The US Senate passes a draft resolution ‘to condemn the military coup in Sudan and support the Sudanese people.’

May 13: Sudanese people partake in the Marches of Millions in protest of October’s coup with many left with mysterious injuries.

May 14: AU-IGAD-UN Trilateral Mechanism holds talks with the Women’s Rights Support Group, the Khartoum Resistance Committees, and the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebel alliance.

May 15: The Regional Governor of Darfur, Minni Arko Minawi, calls for the migration tracks of herders to be speedily reopened, stressing the need for reconciliation and tolerance in East Darfur.

Tear gas at a Khartoum demonstration (Alteras)

 

May 16: The Sudanese Human Rights and Development Organisation (HUDO) report lawlessness and insecurity continue in the Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan. CCSD reports 12 injuries during the May 14 anti-coup demonstrations in Khartoum.

May 17: The Consumer Protection Association, among other organisations and individuals file an official complaint in Khartoum against the doubling of the electricity tariffs for households since April.

May 18: OCHA in Sudan reports that at least 56,000 people have been displaced due to the recent violence in West Darfur, South Darfur, and South Kordofan. Sudanese refugees in Gaga camp, eastern Chad, complain of increasing insecurity and armed robberies. According to Sudan’s Emergency Lawyers the authorities have launched a further detention campaign against activists in Khartoum and El Gezira. Security forces kill three people and wound five others during a protest in Abu Nama in Sennar.

May 19: Thousands gather in the streets of Khartoum and head for Republican Palace in new Marches of the Millions called for by the resistance committees. Two leading members of the Communist Party of Sudan (CPoS) are detained in Khartoum after their return from Juba, capital of South Sudan.

May 20: The June 3 Massacre investigation committee suspends its activities claiming that it is not possible to continue activities under the current military authorities. The CPoS confirms that security authorities in Khartoum have released its political secretary, Mohamed El Khateeb, and central committee member Saleh Mahmoud.

Marches of the Millions in Khartoum in June (Social media)

 

May 21: The crossing between Galabat in Sudan’s El Gedaref and Metema in northern Ethiopia closes after the killing of three Sudanese by Ethiopian gunmen.

May 22: The CCSD report that 125 demonstrators were injured during the violent suppression of the May 19 Marches of the Millions in Khartoum. AU-IGAD-UN Trilateral Mechanism voices ‘deep concern’ at the Sudanese authorities’ continued use of excessive force against protesters. Security officers detain prominent communist lawyer, Amal El Zein, after a press conference in which she spoke about their cooperation with rebel leaders Abdelaziz El Hilu and Abdelwahid El Nur.

May 23: The CCSD announces the death of a protestor who was shot in the chest during demonstrations in Omdurman. The decision to grant land on the Red Sea coast to Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF) for a training camp is suspended after residents raised several objections. UNITAMS issues a statement of disappointment concerning the non-renewal of the residence permit for UN consultant Dame Rosalind Marsden. A large number of Sudanese take part in the May 23 Marches of the Millions to denounce the excessive violence used by security forces in last week’s demonstrations.

May 24: UNITAMS head Volker Perthes tells the UN Security Council in New York that the ‘Sudan crisis can only be resolved by Sudanese‘. Emergency Lawyers organise a vigil in front of the offices of the Attorney General and the Presidency of the Judicial Authority in Khartoum, against the arbitrary detentions of activists, and the poor health and living conditions in prisons.

May 25: Special Envoy to Sudan and advisor to South Sudan President Salva Kiir Tut Galuak briefs representatives of the AU-IGAD-UN Trilateral Mechanism on steps undertaken by various Sudanese parties.

May 26: The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Khardiata Lo N’Diaye, reiterates her commitment to the thousands of people displaced by violence in West Darfur following a visit to El Geneina. The US sanctions two Sudan-based companies, Agrogate Holding and Al Rowad Real Estate Development, after finding links with a Hamas financier. 26 Sudanese groups across the world agree to form the United Sudanese Revolutionary Forces Abroad, (USRFA) aiming to ‘continue the revolutionary movement abroad.’

May 27: Community leaders in Kassala and West Kordofan ask for more security intervention and police following violent tribal clashes in both states over the past week. The governor of Northern State bans the export of locally produced wheat out of the state amid shortages and soaring prices.

May 29: Sudan’s President of the Sovereignty Council, Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, lifts the nationwide State of Emergency which came into effect following the military October 25 coup and pledges to release all political detainees. The trial of two teenagers accused of killing a senior policeman begins.

May 30: The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan announces a grant of $20 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for Sudan to help combat food insecurity. AU-IGAD-UN Trilateral Mechanism welcomes the decision of Sudan’s Sovereignty Council to lift the State of Emergency. Armed men rob passengers in South Darfur amid a surge of banditry across Darfur.

May 31: A group of armed men rape four women in South Kordofan. The EU lauds the military junta’s decision to lift of the State of Emergency and release all political detainees.

Poster announcing the protests of 30 June

 

June: Meetings between the AU-IGAD-UNITAMS Trilateral Mechanism and various Sudanese parties continue as El Burhan encourages all parties to ‘embrace dialogue’ with the mechanism. Tribal violence continues across Sudan, with more than 125 people killed in Clashes in West Darfur. Sudan’s DAL business group announce the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will build a Port on the Rea Sea as part of a new bilateral investment deal, despite kickback from local port workers. The Darfur Bar Association confirm the presence of Russian ‘Wagner mercenaries’ along the border with The Central African Republic.

June 1: The AU-IGAD-UNITAMS Trilateral Mechanism meets Sudan’s ruling military junta, ahead of the June 3 2019 Massacre commemorations. Employees from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock of South Darfur organise a protest sit-in in Nyala, in protest against the low salaries. Renewed cross-border banditry by Ethiopian gunmen leaves one Sudanese worker dead.

June 2: More than 90 people continue to be detained in Khartoum and Rabak despite the lifting of the State of Emergency. At least 20 people sustain injuries in Khartoum’s pre-anniversary protests commemorating the 2019 June 3 Massacre.

June 3: The CCSD reports the death of a 20-year-old protester during the June 3 Massacre commemorations. Representatives of the Sudan Troika release a statement of solidarity with survivors and victims of the 2019 June 3 Massacre, urging the coup authorities to charge those responsible.

June 4: The UN Expert on Human Rights in Sudan, Adama Dieng, expresses ‘deep concern’ at the human rights situation in the county, citing the human rights violations documented since the October 25 coup.

June 5: US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Molly Phee, travels to Sudan on a five-day trip to meet a range of Sudanese political actors and groups. The National Umma Party (NUP) and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) agree on an ‘inter-Sudanese dialogue’. Two-day-long tribal clashes in South and West Kordofan kill at least 15 people.

June 6: The US embassy invites members of the Sudanese resistance committees for a meeting with Molly Phee with the aim of resolving the crisis following the ‘military’s seizure of power in October 2021.’ UN Secretary-General António Guterres welcomes efforts by The AU-IGAD-UNITAMS Trilateral Mechanism to facilitate a solution to Sudan’s political crisis. Witnesses testify against former Janjaweed leader Ali Kushayb at the ICC in the Netherlands

June 7: The Sudanese Congress Party (SCP) strongly criticise the security forces for ‘ethnically-based attacks’ on south Khartoum residents, most of whom are displaced from areas in Darfur and Blue Nile state. El Burhan urges all parties in Sudan to embrace the Trilateral Mechanism dialogue. Tribal clashes in South Kordofan kill at least two people. Two days of violence in West Darfur leave at least 15 people dead.

June 8: The Sudanese Public Prosecution issues arrest warrants for former Minister of Justice Nasreldin Abdelbari and the former director of Sudanese state TV, Lugman Ahmed. Ensuing attacks in Kulbus, West Darfur, the death toll rises to at least 20 people.

June 9: Security forces fire live ammunition and tear gas to suppress large demonstrators in Khartoum and El Gezira demanding the overthrow of the military junta and the installation of a civilian government. OCHA reports that an estimated 125,000 people are still displaced from Kereneik, West Darfur, following April’s clashes. Sudan’s Emergency Lawyers meet with US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs to discuss human rights violations in the country.

June 10: The death toll from ongoing clashes in Kulbus, West Darfur, rises to 49 with many wounded and many more displaced.

Protesters in En Nahud, West Kordofan (Social media)

 

June 11: The United Sudanese Revolutionary Forces Abroad (USRFA) condemn the AU-IGAD-UNITAMS negotiations as “legitimizing the coup regime”.

June 12: The number of people killed from last week’s attacks on villages in Kulbus, West Darfur, rises to at least 100 with more than 15,600 people displaced in neighbouring Saraf Omra, says Sudan’s Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC). An initiative of the EU and International Organization for Migration (IOM) returns 141 Sudanese migrants from Libya.

June 13: An appeal submitted by the lawyers of two detainees accused of killing a police officer forces postponement of their trial. The FFC-Central Council is formulating a vision to solve Sudan’s political crisis and end the coup. June 13 anti-coup demonstrations leave 15 injured.

June 14: Strikes continue among government employees in protest against the authorities’ failure to implement the new salary structure and combat inflation. The number of people killed in Kulbus, West Darfur, rises to 125. The Sudanese military and the SRF rebel alliance meet in a ‘one stage dialogue’ and discuss their stances on the direct dialogue proposed by the Trilateral Mechanism.

June 15: Days of escalating inter-communal clashes in Kassala leave five people dead and several others injured.

June 16: The UN World Food Programme (WFP) warns that 15 million people in Sudan are facing acute food insecurity. Another young protester dies during anti-junta demonstrations in Omdurman. Tribal clashes kill five people in Kadugli, the capital of South Kordofan.

June 18: Police arrest four people in connection with a string of armed robberies in North Darfur. Gen Hemeti visits El Geneina in West Darfur to attend the signing of a reconciliation agreement between the Rizeigat and Misseriya tribes, and calls for the restoration of the Rule of Law.

June 19: The Sudanese Company for Mineral Resources provided the state treasury with more than US $45 million in ten days via the traditional stock exchange in Khartoum.

June 21: The president of the Sudanese DAL Business Group announces that the UAE will build a new port in the Red Sea in Sudan as part of a new bilateral investment deal. Forces The FFC-CC agrees to meet with military junta called for by the USA and Saudi Arabia.

June 22: The AU confirms its commitment to Sudan’s Trilateral Mechanism despite rumours of its withdrawal from the group. The Federal Ministry of Health agrees with the Ministry of Finance to transfer the salaries of junior medics to their bank accounts after weeks of strikes. Sudan’s Alternative Sea Port Workers Union announces its rejection of the UAE Red Sea port describing the Gulf country as a major competitor to Sudan’s ports.

June 23: At least 80 people died of starvation in the Foro Baranga camp for the displaced in West Darfur in the past three months, says a camp leader.

June 24: The Darfur Bar Association (DBA) confirms the presence of Russian ‘Wagner mercenaries’ in South Darfur dating back to last year.

June 25: Arab, Masalit, Rizeigat and Iringa tribes in West Darfur sign agreements to stop hostilities in the presence of visiting Gen Hemeti.

June 26: Twenty trade union groups organise a vigil in front of the office of the Labour Organisations Registrar in Khartoum protesting the reinstatement of trade unions affiliated with the former regime of Omar Al Bashir. The number of victims of torture in detention is rapidly increasing in Sudan.

June 27: Sudan has lost $4,364 billion in aid from the international community, in the eight months since the October 2021 military coup d’état.

June 29: The Sovereignty Council announce the inauguration of a new security forces concerned with the protection of civilians in Darfur as stipulated in the Juba Peace Agreement.

June 30: Security forces kill at least nine anti-junta protesters in today’s Marches of Millions across Sudan. Seven Sudanese legal and rights groups ask the UN secretary-general for protection during pro-democracy marches and processions. The Unified Doctors Office reports attempts by security forces to attack medical staff treating injured demonstrators in Khartoum state hospitals.


Previous timelines:

Sudan timeline January - March 2022: Political turmoil, lawlessness as attempts to revive democratic transition collapse

Sudan timeline October-December 2021: Democratic transition under siege, foreign finance cut as military sizes power

Sudan timeline July-September 2021: Political discord escalates, poverty grows, as thousands are displaced by floods, violence

Sudan timeline April-June 2021: Waves of violence continue, international debt relief brings hope for economic upturn

Sudan timeline January-March 2021: Holdout rebels in from the cold, Sudanese pound devalued, COVID-19 vaccine roll-out begins

Sudan timeline October-December 2020: Peace accord signed, COVID second wave bites, security fears as UNAMID withdraws

Sudan timeline July-September 2020: Public anger at slow implementation of revolution, floods devastate communities countrywide

Sudan timeline April-June 2020: Covid-19 marks all aspects of life, inflation soars

Sudan timeline January-March 2020: Little relief to the country’s economic, security woes

Sudan timeline October-December 2019: Interim government put to the test

Sudan timeline July-September 2019: Turbulent transformation from tyranny

Sudan timeline December 2018-April 2019: How did civil discontent propel Sudan towards the overthrow of Al Bashir?


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