Internal Instability in Sudan

Internal Instability in Sudan

Surge in popular unrest and political instability in Sudan


Growing political dissatisfaction with the ruling party in Sudan could lead to a rise in popular unrest and potentially violent consequences. In September 2013, Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir cut government fuel subsidies, driving up prices by more than 60 percent and instigating the most violent period of unrest in his twenty-four years in power.

Outspoken dissatisfaction with economic policies, including subsidy cuts and international isolation, and opposition to brutal repression by government forces are the most recent threats to the stability of al-Bashir’s regime. Protracted violence in the Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile states endangers the lives of civilians and has resulted in the third-largest internally displaced population in the world.

The United States designated Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism in 1993, and, five years later, imposed sanctions on Sudan in response to its support of international terrorism, sustained human rights violations, and intentional efforts to destabilize neighboring countries.

Growing popular unrest and instability in Sudan could further exacerbate the internal humanitarian situation; undermine efforts by the United States—which has been a major donor of aid to Sudan—to promote democracy and human rights in the country; and have negative implications for the stability of South Sudan, which has been a priority for the United States since the country’s independence.

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