Protests in Khartoum, Sudan. Creator: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire. All rights reserved.

Online discussion

Friday, 12. April 2024 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm Save in my calendar

Online discussion

Böll.Global 19: The forgotten war of Sudan - Responsibility to Protect or Reality of Neglect?

An online discussion series on current international developments

A year has passed since the putschist generals, Al Burhan and Hemeti, and their supporters in the Sudanese Army (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) began fighting for power in Sudan by armed force. While the forces have split the country into zones of influence, heavy fighting for the control of strategic territory continues. And there is an increasing risk that fighting spreads to further areas.

At this point, the war has displaced more than seven million people, exceeding the numbers of any other conflict in the world. According to the United Nations, 17.7 million people are currently facing high levels of acute food insecurity, with a potential famine looming. The Dutch reearch institute Clingendael speaks about different scenarios of hunger, the best resulting in the loss of 200.000 the worst of one million people only this summer. Yet, humanitarian access is often severely limited and humanitarian assistance is dramatically underfunded.

International mediation efforts have remained fragmented and ineffective. Influential Arab countries so far prop up their respective allies in the conflict more than they push for a settlement. European actors defer to African institutions (IGAD and the African Union). The war in Sudan has been eclipsed by diplomatic attention to the crisis in Ukraine and Gaza on most foreign policy agendas. Observers speak of the “forgotten war”. Has the "responsibility to protect" been overtaken by a "reality of neglect"?

Civil society within the country remains active and citizens activism is crucial to the survival of many Sudanese. In the face of war, most of the politically engaged civilian forces have begun to reorganize themselves outside the country, under great difficulty.

To end the atrocities of war and tackle the catastrophic humanitarian situation, a broadly supported, concerted negotiation format needs to be achieved urgently. 

Against this background, Ulf Terlinden, Director of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Horn von Africa Unit, discusses with:

  • Abdalbasit Alhaj, lawyer and legal consultant, legal officer at Wayamo Foundation
  • Reem Abbas, Sudanese writer and researcher and currently a non-resident fellow at Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy.
  • Salih Amar, Salih Amar, member of the executive committee and the preparatory committee of the Tagadum Convention, and former Governor of Kassala State
  • Deborah Düring, Member of the German Bundestag, Green parliamentary group spokesperson on foreign policy

on the following issues:

  • What are the current realities of the war and the humanitarian situation in Sudan, one year after the war started?
  • How have civilian actors re-organized themselves, what are their main challenges and what is their current role? How can they be strengthened effectively?
  • What can the EU and its member states do to elevate Sudan on the international agenda and to actively push for negotiations to end the war?
  • In the shadow of the wars in Ukraine and Gaza, how will Germany engage with the conflict following Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock’s recent visit to the region? 
  • Ultimately, what are the pathways that could lead Sudan out of the war?


Louisa Reeh


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➽ Online Event
Heinrich Böll Foundation - Headquarters Berlin
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