Search for Common Ground: Sudan

Search for Common Ground has been working in Sudan since 2009 to promote peace and reconciliation. 

On April 15, 2023, violent conflict broke out in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, as a result of a bitter power struggle between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). ​​The military factions disagree about the country’s proposed move to civilian rule, and in particular, about plans to include the 100,000-strong RSF in the regular army. The heaviest fighting is concentrated within the city of Khartoum and in the nearby areas of Omdurman and Bahri. In those locations the situation is dire, with access to food, water, electricity and healthcare (at least 16 hospitals in Khartoum have closed) all becoming increasingly scarce. Despite Sudan suffering years of conflict, Khartoum has largely been spared from violence in the past, making the current situation even more shocking to the more than six million people who live there. Reports of fighting spreading to North Kordofan have heightened concerns that it could further spread to the Western Darfur region.

Over the 15 years of work in Sudan, we have built networks of peacebuilders in communities in the most conflict-affected areas, and linked their lived experiences with policymakers at the national and international levels. With the current crisis, we continue to do the same, sharing information and updates from different parts of the country where our staff and partners are with international actors trying to address the situation. In places where security allows, we are also working with our local partners to support the following priorities:

  • Support implementation of an immediate ceasefire to protect civilians and to open humanitarian corridors to allow the Sudanese people access to food, water and essential services. Since the fighting began, multiple ceasefires have been called, only to collapse. 
  • Support local peacebuilding efforts in regions of the country outside of Khartoum aimed at preventing further escalation or expansion of the combat. This includes both conflicts related to the broader peace process as well as localized issues like access to water for migrating livestock, land disputes, and other conflicts that can erupt and cause significant destruction on a smaller scale.
  • Support the inclusion of local voices–especially from less-heard groups like women, youth, nomads, displaced people, and others–in political dialogue processes within and outside of the country.
  • Amplify local voices, and particularly those of women and youth, on community radio stations and through drama to build understanding of the peace process and ensure inclusion of more diverse perspectives in decision-making.