Brutal violence between the country’s north and south persisted from 1955 to 2005. While the number of civilian deaths has never officially been calculated, more than 2.5 million people are estimated to have been killed or to have died of conflict-related starvation and disease. The north-south conflict ended in 2005 and eventually led to southern independence in 2011 with the creation of the world’s newest country, South Sudan.
Despite the successful separation of the north and south, government and rebel forces continue to commit violence against civilians in Sudan to this day. Much like the north-south conflict, violence within Sudan has deep historical roots. Since the 1950s, the Arab-dominated government of Sudan, centered in the capital Khartoum, has tried to impose its control on the country’s minorities living along the state’s periphery. The result has been a deadly mix of ethnic, religious, and politically motivated conflicts.
In 2019, former President Omar al-Bashir was ousted from office following widespread protests and replaced by a civilian-military transitional government. Despite the transfer of power, civilians in the western region of Darfur and the states bordering South Sudan remain at risk.
This page was last updated in August 2021.