As events in Sudan continue to make headlines across the world, you are invited to a special event hosted by the Australian National University's Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, in conjunction with the Near East Policy Forum.
Unpacking the complex situation, a panel of international experts on Sudan and African Studies will:
- Assess the escalating political and humanitarian crises
- Scrutinise the durability of regionally and internationally brokered ceasefires
- Evaluate the feasibility of Sudan's peaceful democratic transition
- Examine the role and impact of regional actors—Egypt, Libya, Ethiopia, and the GCC states—on the conflict
- Discuss Australia's engagement and the potential implications for its national interests
In 2019, Sudan entered a transformative phase, ending President Omar al-Bashir's 30-year dictatorship following a public uprising. Military and political forces subsequently agreed on a transitional process to restore democracy in the country. These strides towards democratic transition were upended in October 2021, when a faction within the transitional government staged a military coup. By April 2023, there were nascent negotiations for a renewed transition to civilian democratic rule. However, a rift between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), the official army, and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary group born from a militia, over unification plans for civilian transition escalated into a violent standoff in Khartoum. This conflict soon engulfed other regions of the country, causing significant casualties and displacement. A critical obstacle for democratic transition in Sudan has been military reform and integration of various factions into a singular national force. These military entities, remnants of the previous dictatorship and products of a convoluted international and regional landscape, have risen to prominence, influencing the economy and angling for political recognition. It this complex situation that our expert panel will analyse and unpack at this special event.
Dr Adil Abbas, Head of Higher Education at the Australian Industrial Systems Institute and community leader for the Sudanese Diaspora in Australia
Dr Nisrin Elamin, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and African Studies, University of Toronto
Hamid Khalafallah, Development practitioner, researcher and policy analyst based in Khartoum, Sudan
Dr Khalid Medani, Professor of Political Science, Director of the Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University