In the global conversation on conflicts, while Gaza frequently captures international attention Sudan remains in the background and mostly if not completely ignored. This stark contrast is not merely coincidental but highlights a concerning imbalance in the way we engage with and allow humanity to address two crises in the world.
Gaza’s struggles in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are widely discussed, attracting protests and attention from various corners, especially in major cities like London where people march in the streets to proclaim they “don’t care about Hamas” and gather major news.
The marchers want a cease-fire, and then a political solution. I asked one woman if she thought Hamas wanted that too. “I don’t care about Hamas,” she said.
Pretty raw for someone to demand a cease-fire while saying to reporters they don’t care about the terrorist organization known to use any cease-fire to commit mass civilian suffering and murders.
Meanwhile the protracted conflict in Sudan, particularly in regions like Darfur, fails to elicit the same level of outcry or activism about a cease-fire. If solutions and demands are so trivially displayed, without any level of introspection or understanding, why speak only of Gaza?
The question arises: Why is there so much intentional and willful silence on Sudan when the suffering of people demands at least equal consideration?
The city of London perhaps serves as a litmus to compare protest sizes and narratives, relative to people harmed around the world by militant terror campaigns. While Gaza’s situation under a Hamas reign of terror since 2006 is undeniably urgent and deserving of international concern, the muted response to Sudan’s plight from even greater levels of devastation raises issues of unequal visibility and advocacy. The absence of widespread protests in places like London for the people of Sudan underscores the need for a more balanced approach to global crises.
It is imperative to bridge this gap in awareness, analysis and activism, recognizing that suffering knows no geographical bounds. By shedding more light on the overlooked crises, we can apply comparative work towards a more equitable distribution of attention, resources, and diplomatic efforts. The people of Sudan, much like those elsewhere under attack, deserve to have their stories heard, their struggles acknowledged, and their quest for peace supported on the world stage.
The UNICEF Statement of November 6 for example landed on the world stage with virtually no acknowledgement, no registration in the news, of an absolutely massive tragedy unfolding since just last April.
Sudan is now the largest child displacement crisis in the world, with a recorded 3 million children fleeing widespread violence in search of safety, food, shelter and health care—most within Sudan—while hundreds of thousands are sheltering in sprawling make-shift camps in neighboring countries.
“Children continue to bear the heaviest brunt of the violence. Some 14 million children in Sudan are in urgent need of life-saving humanitarian assistance. Many of them are living in a state of perpetual fear—fear of being killed, injured, recruited or used by armed actors.
The largest crisis in the world. Three million children fleeing. Six million displaced. UNICEF reports this recent war in Sudan means nearly 700,000 children are on the brink of death right now.
To describe such a massively massive crisis plainly and simply, Al Jazeera reports that Arab militias “under the banner of the RSF” are committing genocide.
Former President Omar al-Bashir exacerbated these tensions by pitting tribes against each other as part of a divide-and-rule strategy. In 2003, he armed Arab tribal militias and tasked them with crushing a mostly non-Arab rebellion, which started with protests against Darfur’s economic and political marginalisation.
About 300,000 people died in combat as well as from famine and disease brought on by the conflict. Rights groups and the UN accused these government-backed militias – known to victims as the janjaweed, or “devils on horseback” – of carrying out ethnic cleansing.
These same militias are now fighting alongside or under the banner of the RSF.
“They want to ethnically cleanse us,” said Nahid Hamid, a Masalit human rights lawyer who spoke to Al Jazeera from Cairo, Egypt where she now lives.
Hamid shared a video with Al Jazeera that she found over social media weeks ago that shows an RSF fighter holding a machine gun and speaking to the camera.
In the background, another fighter can be heard saying in Arabic, “Land of the Masalit? There is no more land for the Masalit.”
What if we called them Hamas instead of RSF, would people care more about these atrocities related to pushing an ethnic group off their land?
If a terrorist in Sudan saying in Arabic “there is no more land” sounds familiar, it’s because you might have heard a similar phrase repeated in London recently during the Gaza protests.
…the widespread use at this march of the chant, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” Many British and American Jews, among others, hear this as an anti-Semitic demand to obliterate Israel, the world’s only Jewish state.
“End of the Masalit” is a campaign, like the “river to the sea” campaign. Where do these similar “occupying land and demographic change” conflicts collide for the protestors, especially given the shocking magnitude of the suffering in Sudan?
In related news, on October 9th Sudan and Iran suddenly resumed diplomatic relations, two days after Iranian-backed terrorists successfully launched widespread coordinated attacks on civilians in and around Gaza. After the fall of Sudan’s leader Bashir, were any terrorist attacks of Hamas funded or trained via Sudan?
Following Terrorist Attack on Israel, Treasury Sanctions Hamas Operatives and Financial Facilitators… Hamza has facilitated funds for Hamas through a network of large companies in Sudan.
My wild guess is historians will look back at 2023 records and see the Russian Wagner group in Belarus abruptly picking up camp and moving to Sudan, training and supplying militants there under the cover of the last cease-fire by Israel, before sending the Hamas terror group on to commit mass atrocities on civilians (both in and around Gaza) in early October.