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Blue Nile, its conflict dynamics, and the potential implications for the wider war in Sudan

As the war in Sudan continues, the positioning of regional leaders like Malik Agar in Blue Nile and Minni Minawi and Gibril ibrahim in Darfur, plays an ever more critical role. Agar has sided with the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) against the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in the ongoing war and recently formed a new coalition, the National Forces Coordination, bringing together his faction of the SPLM-N, the Democratic Bloc, a splinter of the mainstream Forces of Freedom and Change-Central Committee, Darfur armed movements, a faction of the Democratic Unionist Party and some Beja nazirs to support the SAF. At the same time, his troops have engaged directly in fighting with the RSF and are among the troops SAF amassed ahead of its imminent offensive to retake Gezira State. These supports are critical to the army at a time when it is struggling to turn the tide of the war against the RSF.

These actions, however, overlay, and are informed by, a complex array of pre-existing conflict dynamics in Blue Nile. The latest conflict has created a framework within which local competitors seek national-level allies to strengthen their positions, and national actors seek to play the local dynamics to recruit allies into their national struggle for dominance. This paper offers an overview of some of those pre-existing conflict dynamics, intended to provide a clearer understanding of the hidden underpinnings of Sudan’s ongoing war and the risks of its metastasizing into multiple intercommunal conflicts across the country.

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0 thoughts on “Blue Nile, its conflict dynamics, and the potential implications for the wider war in Sudan”

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