Monday, April 24, 2023

Sudan: Was This Conflict Preventable?

 Responsible Statecraft published on 20 April 2023 a commentary titled "Sudan Is Tearing Itself Apart and Washington Lost Its Capacity to Help" by Alex de Waal.  

The author identifies the numerous actors in the international community who were trying to prevent Sudan from reaching the terrible situation where it finds itself.  He argues that these international actors failed to prevent the conflict because they were going in different directions.  No one wanted this outcome, but no one was coordinating the signaling to prevent it from happening.  

Comment:  There are some conflicts that outsiders cannot prevent.  Short of militarily occupying Sudan with a huge international force, something that no one was prepared to do and which would have resulted in a host of new problems anyway, this conflict was probably destined to happen.  The international community can be accused of engaging in the fantasy that these two Sudanese military organizations were prepared to turn over power to a civilian government, but this conflict did not occur because of ineffective international coordination.