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Brothers Fighting on Opposing Sides of Sudan’s Conflict


Muhammad Gali's two brothers are fighting in Sudan's bloody conflict – on each side. Will they meet on the battlefield? It's the family's nightmare, especially since the fighting has reached their home region of Darfur.

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The Gali family feels helpless. They no longer want the brothers to be transferred to Darfur, as fighting has flared up there as well. Muhammad’s Facebook post went viral and reached the brothers. In a video call with the family in Darfur, they dismissed Muhammad’s concerns.

Unemployment is also high, especially among the less educated. Musab has therefore been in the army for 13 years. Yakub followed in his footsteps five years ago, but then joined the better-resourced RSF. The brothers' salary is equivalent to approximately SEK 500 a month, while Muhammad, who works in a bank, earns just over SEK 1,200.

From Janjawid, RSF was formed in 2013. After a deadline for civilian rule expired on April 11, fears of a clash between different military factions grew. On April 15, armed conflict erupted when groups loyal to military chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan clashed with the RSF led by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as Hemeti.

So far, neither side has achieved any significant success on the battlefield. Both sides claim to lead the country, and both sides refuse to lay down their arms.

Darfur has not recovered from one of the bloodiest conflicts of our time, which is believed to have killed around 300,000 people since 2003. The conflict erupted when non-Arab rebels rebelled against then-dictator Omar al-Bashir. The government forces' response, with the help of the militia group Janjawid, turned, according to the UN, into ethnic cleansing.

Both Musab and Yakub participated in fighting in Khartoum the other day. The clashes are mostly limited to areas around the presidential palace, the airport, the radio and television house and the respective military headquarters.

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