AU must not allow another Somalia on the continent

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The recent conflict in Sudan has raised fears that the country could become another Somalia, with widespread violence, displacement, and humanitarian crises.

In 1991, Somalia descended into civil war after the ouster of dictator General Said Barre. The breakdown of law and order led to the emergence of different factions and warlords vying for control of the country. The resulting violence and displacement created a humanitarian crisis that lasted for decades.

The international community, including the United States, intervened but was unable to bring about a lasting peace. The governance vacuum led to the establishment of terrorist and militant groups, including Al-Shabaab, which still pose a threat to the region today.

The situation in Sudan is eerily similar. In April 2019, the Sudanese military led by General Abdel Fattah Al Burhan staged a coup and arrested Omar al Bashir, ending his 30-year rule. Bashir was subsequently charged with a range of crimes, including crimes against humanity and genocide.

Since then, tension between different factions in Sudan has been simmering. On April 15, 2023, battles erupted between Abdel Fattah forces and Mohammed Hamdan Daglo’s RSF, leading to the loss of more than 500 lives and creating a humanitarian crisis.

The risks of inaction are clear. If the African Union and United Nations do not take action to prevent further escalation of the conflict, Sudan could become another failed state with widespread violence and humanitarian crises.

The AU and UN have a duty to prevent Sudan from becoming another Somalia, and they must act quickly and decisively. They have a responsibility to prevent and resolve conflicts on the continent, and they have a track record of successful interventions in other countries, including Sierra Leone.