Sudan civil war would be ‘nightmare’ for world: Former PM

People feeling conflict in Sudan arrive at an airport in Abu Dhabi after an evacuation flight, on 29 April, 2023. Warplanes on bombing raids drew heavy anti-aircraft fire over Khartoum today as fierce fighting between Sudan's army and paramilitaries entered a third week, violating a renewed truceAFP

Sudan’s former prime minister Abdalla Hamdok on Saturday warned that the conflict in the turbulent African nation could deteriorate to one of the world’s worst civil wars if not stopped early.

More than 500 people have been killed since battles erupted on 15 April between the forces of army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his number two Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

They have agreed to multiple truces but none has effectively taken hold as the number of dead civilians continues to rise and chaos and lawlessness grip Khartoum.

Many people in this city of five million inhabitants have been trapped in their homes without food, water, and electricity.

“God forbid if Sudan is to reach a point of civil war proper... Syria, Yemen, Libya will be a small play,” Hamdok said in a conversation with Sudan-born telecoms tycoon Mo Ibrahim at an event in Nairobi.

“I think it would be a nightmare for the world,” he said, adding that it would have many ramifications.

The current conflict was a “senseless war” between two armies, he added.

“There is nobody who is going to come out of this victorious. That is why it has to stop.”

About 75,000 people have been displaced by the fighting in Khartoum as well as in the states of Blue Nile and North Kordofan, as well as the western region of Darfur, according to the UN.

The fighting has also triggered a mass exodus of foreigners and international staff.

Hamdok was the premier of Sudan’s fragile transition to civilian rule before being ousted and detained in a coup. Although he was then reinstated, he resigned in January.

Burhan and Daglo -- commonly known as Hemeti -- seized power in a 2021 coup that derailed Sudan’s transition to democracy, established after hardline president Omar al-Bashir was ousted following mass protests in 2019.

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

Diplomatic pressure has ramped up for a ceasefire.