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Former prime minister: Conflict in Sudan could spiral down into one of world’s worst civil wars

Sudan's former prime minister has warned that the ongoing conflict in the country could turn into one of the world's worst civil wars if it is not kept in check.

“God forbid if Sudan is to reach a point of civil war proper… Syria, Yemen, Libya will be a small play,” Abdalla Hamdok said in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi on Saturday, adding, “I think it would be a nightmare for the world.”

Fighting erupted between Sudan’s army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on April 15 and has so far killed more than 500 people, knocked out hospitals and other services, and turned residential areas into war zones.

Thousands have also been wounded in the fighting, which has displaced tens of thousands of people, including Sudanese and citizens from neighboring countries, who have fled, including to Egypt, Chad, and South Sudan.

International organizations have, however, warned that millions of Sudanese are unable to flee and are trying to survive acute shortages of water, food, medicines, and fuel as well as power and internet blackouts.

WHO fears more deaths in Sudan due to outbreaks, collapse of services

The current conflict is a “senseless war” between two armies, the former premier said, adding, “There is nobody who is going to come out of this victorious. That is why it has to stop.”

Hamdok was the prime minister of Sudan’s fragile transition to civilian rule before being ousted and detained in a coup in 2021. Although he was later reinstated, he resigned in January 2022.

Army chief, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and his number two, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who commands the RSF, seized power in the coup that derailed Sudan’s transition to democracy.

But the two generals fell out recently over the planned integration of the RSF into the regular army.

Earlier this month, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the violence in Sudan “risks a catastrophic conflagration…that could engulf the whole region and beyond.”

Stressing that he had called on the parties to the conflict to de-escalate tensions and return to the negotiating table, Guterres added, “We must all do everything within our power to pull Sudan back from the edge of the abyss.”

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