Earlier this year, masses of protesters calling for a new era of prosperity and accountability in Sudan cheered as military forces ousted Omar al-Bashir, the country’s long-reigning dictator. But Bashir’s fall did not guarantee freedom or democracy, and Sudan and its 40 million people now risk falling into the grips of a crisis that threatens to destroy what demonstrators have achieved and sink the country into violent conflict.
In recent weeks, the hope of a transition to a civilian government has been replaced with the fear that security forces are willing to kill protesters in an attempt to hold on to power. Militias have committed horrific rights abuses, authorities have cut off internet access across the country in an attempt to stifle dissent and foreign powers seem intent on preserving military rule.
Mass violence in recent weeks and a fragile political situation have led to international concern that Sudan could fall apart, with different factions of the security forces fighting each other for control and widespread violence against civilians. Sudan now teeters between a movement toward stable democracy and further atrocities.