100 days of conflict in Sudan: A timeline

Despite ceasefire attempts and diplomatic efforts, fighting between the army and the RSF in Sudan continues to rage.

At least 3,000 people have been killed in the conflict, while more than three million people have been displaced so far [File: AP Photo]

The vicious war in Sudan between the army and a powerful paramilitary group has reached the grim milestone of 100 days with no signs of respite.

On April 15, a power struggle between army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his former deputy, Rapid Support Forces (RSF) commander Mohamed Hamdan “Hemedti” Dagalo, burst into an all-out conflict, killing thousands of people, forcing millions from their homes and exacerbating an acute humanitarian crisis.

Here are the key developments in the war so far.

Interactive_Sudan_crisis map fighting July 20_2023

April 15: Fighting erupts

On April 15, heavy gunfire and explosions rock the capital, Khartoum, sparking panic in the city and beyond.

The army and the RSF each accuse the other of attacking first.

The clashes come after years of instability and repeated coups.

Fighting also erupts in the western region of Darfur, which is still reeling from a brutal war that started in 2003 under longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir.

April 22: Evacuations begin

Several countries rush to evacuate their nationals by air or land.

Thousands flee in the exodus while many embassies are ransacked.

Millions of Sudanese remain trapped in their homes with supplies of water, food, medicines and other basic items running low.

April 25: Failed truce

The United States and Saudi Arabia negotiate a 72-hour truce but it is quickly violated. A series of further truce deals that follow falter.

Ahmed Harun, a leading figure in the government of al-Bashir, who was removed by the army in the wake of months-long popular protests, says he has escaped from prison.

The army says that al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on genocide charges over the war in Darfur, was transferred to a hospital before the fighting began.

April 26: Aid agencies struggle

Aid agencies raise alarm as humanitarian efforts are interrupted across the country. Organisations struggle to resume operations while ensuring the safety of their workers.

April 27: Ceasefire violated

The Sudanese army and the RSF agree to extend the faltering ceasefire for “an additional 72 hours” amid continuing violence in Khartoum and the western Darfur region.

But fighting continues as warplanes patrol over the capital’s northern suburbs and fighters on the ground exchange artillery and heavy machine-gun fire, according to witnesses.

May 6: Jeddah talks start

US and Saudi-backed talks between army and RSF envoys begin in Saudi Arabia’s city of Jeddah.

May 11: Humanitarian aid needed

Both sides agree to allow urgently needed humanitarian aid to reach affected areas, committing “to ensuring the protection of civilians” but, once again, the fighting never stops.

May 22: Ceasefire violated again

A new one-week ceasefire comes into effect but is also repeatedly violated.

May 31: Army walks out

On May 31, the army says it has suspended its participation in the ceasefire talks, accusing the RSF of failing to respect its commitments.

June 1: US imposes sanctions

The US imposes the first sanctions related to the conflict, targeting two firms associated with the army and two others linked to the RSF.

It warns that it will “hold accountable” all those undermining peace in the country and says will impose visa restrictions “against actors who are perpetuating the violence”.

June 3: Army brings reinforcements

The Sudanese army calls in reinforcements, sparking fear among Khartoum residents that the conflict will worsen.

The army tries to take control of a military base in the capital that belongs to the RSF.

June 6: Shortages of supplies

Intensifying attacks add to the misery of civilians already struggling with limited water, food and medicine, while looters rob neighbourhoods across Khartoum, stealing cars, breaking open safes and occupying people’s homes.

June 7: Fuel fire erupts

A major blaze engulfs a fuel facility in Khartoum as fighting rages for a crucial weapons depot. Smoke billows from the fuel-storage site that is close to an army base and the weapons manufacturing company.

June 8: Orphans evacuated

At least 280 children and 70 of their carers are taken from the Al-Mayqoma orphanage in Khartoum to a new facility in Madani, about 135km (85 miles) southeast of the capital. That the transfer takes finally place eight weeks into the conflict highlights the difficulty in obtaining security guarantees from warring parties.

June 9: UN envoy declared ‘persona non grata’

Sudanese authorities declare the UN envoy to the country, Volker Perthes, “persona non grata” two weeks after the army chief accused him of inflaming the conflict.

June 10: Ceasefire announced

Warring sides agree to a 24-hour ceasefire and agree to allow the unimpeded movement and delivery of humanitarian assistance throughout the country.

June 11: Fighting resumes

Within 30 minutes of the ceasefire ending, fighting resumes with renewed intensity. Air raids, artillery shelling and machine guns could be heard pounding several parts of the country, killing seven civilians.

June 14: More than two million people flee

UN says more than two million people have been forced to flee their homes across Sudan, with more than 1.6 million leaving for safer areas inside the country, and about 530,000 others leaving to neighbouring countries.

June 15: West Darfur governor killed

West Darfur state Governor Khamis Abakar is abducted and killed after publicly blaming the deaths of civilians on the RSF. The incident marks a new escalation in the conflict.

June 17: Ceasefire announced

Rival sides agree to a 72-hour ceasefire and to allow the unimpeded movement and delivery of humanitarian aid.

June 19: Donors pledge nearly $1.5bn

International donors pledge nearly $1.5bn for the humanitarian response to Sudan and the region, the UN says, after it had called on countries to step up aid efforts.

The body says its emergency aid programme requires $2.57bn in funding.

June 20: Darfur governor calls for probe

Darfur Governor Mini Arko Minawi calls for an international investigation into violence against residents of the region and urges the UN Security Council to allow the ICC to probe “crimes and assassinations”.

June 21: Fighting resumes

Intense battles break out after a 72-hour ceasefire expires, with fierce fighting reported in parts of the capital including around the intelligence agency’s headquarters near Khartoum International Airport.

June 27: Army declares ‘unilateral’ truce

Al-Burhan announces a “unilateral” ceasefire on the first day of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday. His announcement comes after Hemedti declared a two-day “unilateral” ceasefire.

June 28: Air raids reported

Residents say air raids and anti-aircraft fire strike Khartoum as fighting between the warring sides intensifies.

July 2: Fighting continues

Fighting continues as air raids are launched in northern parts of Khartoum and heavy artillery is used in the city’s east.

July 5: UN decries ‘sexual violence’

UN expresses shock at increasing sexual violence against women and girls in Sudan and calls for thorough and independent investigations into all alleged violations and abuses to hold perpetrators to account.

July 10: Regional bloc calls for summit

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), made up of eight states in and around the Horn of Africa, meets in Addis Ababa to kick-start a peace process.

But the initiative faces a setback as a delegation from Sudan’s army fails to attend the first day of meetings.

July 11: Sudan rejects peace efforts

The army rejects a proposed regional summit to consider deploying peacekeeping forces for the protection of civilians.

The mediation offer by IGAD was the first in weeks after talks in Jeddah were suspended following several ceasefire violations.

July 12: UK imposes sanctions

The United Kingdom imposes sanctions on three businesses linked with the army and three with the RSF.

The Defence Industries Systems and two other entities are blacklisted for bankrolling and providing support to the army. For financing and arming the RSF, the UK sanctioned Al-Junaid.

July 13: ICC probing Darfur violence

The ICC launches an investigation into a surge of hostilities in the country’s Darfur region. These include reported killings, rapes, arson, displacement and crimes affecting children.

July 15: Jeddah talks revived

Army representatives return to Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah for talks with the RSF, according to reports.

Source: Al Jazeera