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Developments in Sudan and the Role of International Democracy Assistance Organizations

20 June 2023
Washington DC, USA

On April 15th, 2023, tensions between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) turned into fighting, escalating into a severe armed conflict that has engulfed the country in what risks turning into a large-scale civil war. The warring factions took power together through a military coup on October 25th, 2021, which upended a fragile democratic transition that started after the removal of long-time ruler Omar Al-Bashir. The situation is deteriorating rapidly, hundreds have been killed, and a chaotic situation has engulfed the country. In the capital city, Khartoum, essential services have been primarily interrupted, threatening to generate a vast humanitarian crisis. Hundreds of thousands have fled the country during temporary truces, but thousands more are expected to flee as the war progresses. International efforts to stop hostilities have been unsuccessful until now.  


With this background and the ongoing conflict threatening the lives of civilians, plunging Sudan into all-out armed conflict which has not been seen in the country for over two decades, there is an urgent need to cease hostilities, to return to dialogue and to forge a way out of the current crisis based on political negotiations. Key among the priorities will be the negotiations concerning the security sector, the positioning and process for integration of the RSF into the SAF within a clear timeline, and a swift transition to civilian-led government in Sudan. 


This briefing hosted by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), DT Institute, and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) aims to provide insights into current developments in Sudan and past context, what unfolding events may mean for lasting peace and democratization, and implications for international actors and democracy assistance organizations and their engagement modalities in support of democracy in the country.  




  • Dr. Annika Silva Leander, Head of North America, International IDEA (Moderator) 
  • Ms. Maha Tambal, Program Manager, DT Institute  
  • Dr. Suliman Baldo, Executive Director of the Sudan Transparency and Policy Tracker 
  • Dr. Sami Saeed, Head of Sudan Programme, International IDEA 
  • Mr. Shalva Kipshidze, Director of Sudan Programme, IFES



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