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L'impact de la guerre du Soudan de 2023 sur l'Afrique et au-delà

Kohnert, Dirk (2023): L'impact de la guerre du Soudan de 2023 sur l'Afrique et au-delà.

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For decades, the history of Sudan, Africa's third largest country with around 46 million inhabitants, has been marked by violent clashes between the northern, Muslim and Arab military elites of the capital Khartoum at the expense of the civilian population. Since Sudan gained independence in 1956, there have been 16 attempted coups, six of which were successful. That was more than in any other country on a continent that has itself seen more coups than any other region in the world. Two civil wars between the government in Khartoum and the southern regions claimed around 1.5 million victims. In addition, the ongoing conflict in the western Darfur region has killed more than 200,000 people and displaced two million people. In these conflicts, borders mean little. Control of resources and subjects is the primary objective, and forces arising in the borderlands seek revenge on the despised metropolitan elites. Sudan's geopolitical importance in a volatile region bordering the Red Sea, the Sahel and the Horn of Africa, as well as its agricultural prosperity, attracted regional and global actors and hampered the successful transition to civilian-led government and sustainable development. In addition to Great Britain, the former colonial power, Russia, the USA, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other neighbouring countries were fighting for influence in Sudan, including Ethiopia, Chad and South Sudan. They, too, were affected by political unrest and conflict and suffered under the burden of Sudanese refugees fleeing the fighting to neighbouring countries. The British colonial rulers had already used existing differences to divide the population according to ethnic and regional affiliations, a practice that survives to this day. Militia activism deepened divisions among rebel supporters. This divide-and-conquer policy corresponded to a well-established tactic used by African governments in ethnic civil wars, often exploiting the militias to encourage and facilitate ethnic migration by integrating the militias into the national army. Transnational, well-entrenched criminal networks involved in drug-, arms- and human trafficking also stood ready to take advantage of the chaos. This made Sudan one of the most fragile countries in the world. Sudan's collapse would not only shake its neighbours, but could also upset several other African countries, including fragile states in the Sahel, and East and North Africa. The side effects of such an incalculable conflict zone and the resulting chaos would also affect Western Europe, which is already suffering from the influx of refugees from Syria and other war zones in the Middle East and Africa.

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