06/12/2023 Sudan (International Christian Concern) —Conflict between rival factions in war-torn Sudan resumed after the 24-hour ceasefire agreement brokered by the U.S. and Saudi governments expired. The brief lull in the fighting reportedly allowed for vital humanitarian aid to be distributed.
Heavy engagements occurred in the cities of Bahri, Omdurman, and Khartoum, according to local sources. This comes as the Egyptian government tightens restrictions for Sudanese refugees fleeing north, and as analysts warn about the destabilizing effect of the ongoing conflict in Sudan throughout the region.
The conflict began this year in mid-April between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) led by General Burhan and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) led by General Dagalo. Decades of despotic governance ended in April 2019 following months of nationwide protests. After a military coup ousted the transitional government in October 2021, civil and political instability culminated in the current power struggle. The fighting began around the capital but spread across the country, leading to hundreds of civilian deaths and more than 1.9 million internally displaced persons (IDPs).
“Persecution of Christians remains at a high level in Sudan, and there are fears this will worsen amid the ongoing unrest,” according to a report by Open Doors USA. The transitional government previously enacted changes towards greater religious freedom, but the military coup and the current conflict threaten a return to authoritarianism that would likely intensify the persecution of the approximately two million Christians in Sudan. International Christian Concern (ICC) has previously reported on the dire situation of the church in Sudan.
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