Sudan Conflict: Iconic Khartoum Skyscraper Engulfed

    Sudan Conflict: Iconic Khartoum Skyscraper Engulfed
    Last updated Sep 18, 2023
    Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


    • The Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC) Tower, one of the tallest buildings in Sudan's capital, caught fire on Sunday during violent clashes between the warring Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
    • Other key buildings in Khartoum — including the Ministry of Justice on the western side of the army's defensive perimeter — also caught fire due to the heavy fighting, which entered its sixth month.
    • This comes after the RSF reportedly targeted Khartoum with airstrikes on Saturday. It remains unknown how the fire started in the 18-story building or if there were any casualties.
    • Sudan War Monitor — a joint initiative of Sudanese and international journalists set up after the war began in mid-April — reported that both sides had been using towers in downtown Khartoum around the SAF's headquarters as sniper positions, making them vulnerable to attacks.
    • Apart from the western Darfur region, fighting in downtown Khartoum intensified on Saturday, with local witnesses reporting the use of "various types of weapons" and the sound of "huge bangs" ringing through the capital.
    • According to conservative estimates by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, at least 7.5K people have been killed since the conflict broke out. According to the UN, more than 5M people have been displaced by the fighting, including nearly 1M who fled to neighboring countries.


    Establishment-critical narrative

    It's undeniable that Washington and other Western nations are significantly responsible for the fighting in Sudan. The US failed to rein in the country's top generals when mounting tensions between forces led by Burhan and Dagalo indicated that a prolonged conflict was likely to erupt.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Since the explosion of violence in Sudan, the US has worked hard to tamp down the violence, bring a peaceful solution, and provide safe passage for humanitarian aid. The US is doing its part in enabling diplomatic resolution and committing itself to supporting refugees until a permanent agreement is reached.

    Cynical narrative

    Each warring side in Sudan is still battling for supremacy over the country, which indicates they're in no way serious about ceasefires or peace talks. If the two continue to see each other as an existential threat, it will be impossible to find the middle ground necessary to stop the fighting and prevent the nation from being destroyed.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that more than 10K people will die in the Sudan conflict in 2023, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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