Sudan: A struggle for peace and stability

Fazal Masood Malik and Farhan Khokhar, Canada

Sudan has long been plagued by conflict and instability, with the Darfur conflict (2003-present) and the Second Sudanese Civil War (1983-2005) being the most notable examples. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in 2005 ended the civil war and paved the way for the independence of South Sudan in 2011. (“The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement”, However, the humanitarian crisis Sudan faces now is of immense proportions, one that appears to be headed towards genocide. Widespread famine and obstacles to the delivery of aid have exacerbated the suffering of its people.

The Sudanese Civil War has been a complex conflict with multiple dimensions, including religious and ethnic divisions, the role of neighbouring countries, and the struggle over natural resources. One of the pivotal discussions around the conflict in Sudan has been the introduction of Islamic Sharia law by the Sudanese government in 1983. Intended as a step towards unifying the nation under a common moral and legal framework, the implementation raised questions about the balance between national unity and regional identities. How might a more inclusive approach to understanding and applying Sharia principles have influenced the outcome? Could the integration of all community voices in this process have paved a path toward a more harmonious implementation? Anyhow, the southern regions, which were rich in natural resources, felt marginalised and economically disadvantaged, exacerbating tensions between the central government and the southern populations. (“Sudan Civil War: History & Implications [6 Root Causes]”,

In reviewing the historical complexities in Sudan, careful consideration was needed for the implementation of Sharia law. True justice, as ordained in the Holy Quran, should have begun with personal reform and a sincere commitment to the ethical principles of Islam. Reflecting on the past, one might ask: How could a society, deeply challenged by corruption, have embraced Sharia law in a way that truly reflected its foundational goals of fairness and moral integrity? This highlights the historical importance of grassroots transformation in adherence to Islamic teachings before administering such laws at a national level.

Neighbouring countries have also played significant roles in the Sudanese conflict. Chad and Ethiopia, for instance, have been involved either as mediators or as active participants at different times. The recent clashes have seen a quick mobilisation by countries in the region and globally calling to halt the violence. Chad and Egypt closed their borders with Sudan, indicating concerns that the clashes could escalate. (“Civil Wars in Sudan and South Sudan”,

Similar to the situation in Nigeria, the discovery of oil in Sudan added a new dimension to the conflict. Competition for control over oil-rich regions intensified, and disputes over resource allocation further fueled hostilities. This mirrors the resource curse seen in other African nations, where natural wealth leads to conflict rather than prosperity.

In order to achieve sustainable peace, Sudan requires an inclusive strategy that integrates regional cooperation, international support, and the active participation of women and civil society groups. The international community plays a crucial role in facilitating dialogue and providing assistance to Sudan. The United Nations, the African Union, and key countries in the region must work together to support the peace process. The success of the CPA highlighted the effectiveness of international cooperation driven by experienced diplomats on the ground. (“Avoiding the Train Wreck in Sudan: U.S. Leverage for Peace” by John Prendergast and Laura Jones,

The Holy Quran emphasises the importance of cooperation and unity, stating, “And help one another in righteousness and piety; but help not one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allah; surely, Allah is severe in punishment.” (Surah al-Ma’idah, Ch.5: V.3). This verse should serve as a soul-shaker for Muslim nations that appear to be fueling the fire and not working towards a peaceful solution.

Building a framework for a peaceful existence in Sudan requires addressing economic disparities, ethnic tensions, and political grievances. Economic development and equitable resource distribution are essential for long-term stability. The international community should support initiatives that promote economic growth, create job opportunities, and improve access to education and healthcare. The World Bank and other international financial institutions can provide grants and loans to support infrastructure projects, small businesses, and agricultural development. Encouraging foreign investment and promoting trade can also help stimulate economic growth and reduce poverty. (“How to Restore Peace, Unity, and Effective Government in Sudan?”, accessed via, p. 10)

An example of how economic aid can transform lives can be seen in the early 1950s in Pakistan. When the country was in its infancy, Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya provided goodwill loans to farmers under its Waqf-e-Jadid programme in the province of Sindh. This aid was provided in the form of seeds and soil. The result was an amazing return in ownership of land and business among locals who were previously buried under loans. Such targeted economic assistance can help alleviate poverty and empower marginalised communities in Sudan as well.

Political reforms, including measures to ensure fair representation and protect the rights of marginalised groups, are also necessary to address the underlying causes of conflict. The international community should support efforts to strengthen democratic institutions, promote the rule of law, and ensure free and fair elections. Capacity-building programmes for government officials and civil society organisations can help foster good governance and accountability. The inclusion of women and youth in the political process is crucial for building a more inclusive and stable society. (“Avoiding the Train Wreck in Sudan: U.S. Leverage for Peace” by John Prendergast and Laura Jones, Highlighting the importance of unity among Ummah, the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa has guided us, stating: “The believers, in their mutual kindness, compassion, and sympathy, are just like one body. When one of the limbs suffers, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith 6011).

The delivery of humanitarian aid poses significant challenges due to ongoing conflicts and roadblocks, further complicated by the potential conflicts between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the National Congress Party (NCP). Addressing these challenges is critical to alleviating the current state of famine and its impact on the population. The Holy Quran emphasises the importance of aiding those in need, stating: 

“And they feed, for love of Him, the poor, the orphan, and the prisoner.” (Surah an-Nazi‘at, Ch.76: V.9)

The international community must work to remove barriers to aid delivery and ensure that assistance reaches those who need it most. This may involve negotiating safe passage for aid convoys, establishing humanitarian corridors, and working with local communities to distribute aid effectively.

The civil war in Sudan is not just a struggle over religious and cultural identity or natural resources. It also reflects the absence of a resilient social contract and the adoption of a unitary autocratic system of government by ruling elites. The conflict is a struggle over power in the security sector and the exercise of power in the state, with the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) being a recognised instrument of state power, complicating the situation further. (“Civil Wars in Sudan and South Sudan”,

The time for united action is now. The international community must come together to support Sudan in its quest for peace, stability, and prosperity. By addressing the humanitarian crisis, promoting inclusive peace processes, supporting economic development, and facilitating political reforms, we can help Sudan build a stable future. The Holy Quran advocates for justice and equitable treatment, stating, “O ye who believe! be strict in observing justice, and be witnesses for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or against parents and kindred.” (Surah an-Nisa’, Ch.4: V.136). (“How to Restore Peace, Unity, and Effective Government in Sudan?”, accessed via, p. 10) The urgency of the situation demands immediate and coordinated efforts from all stakeholders. As Muslims and as humans, it is our duty to help our brethren stand on their feet and bring peace to their homes.

No posts to display