General Studies Paper 2
Context: Recently, India airlifted 754 of its stranded citizens from Sudan.
More about Operation Kaveri
- Sudan’s conflict:
- Sudan has been witnessing deadly fighting between the country’s army and a paramilitary group that has reportedly left around 400 people dead.
- About Operation Kaveri:
- Under Operation Kaveri, India has been rescuing its citizens in buses from conflict zones in Khartoum and other troubled areas to Port Sudan from where they are being taken to Jeddah in Indian Air Force’s transport aircraft and Indian Navy’s ship
- From Jeddah, the Indians are being brought home in either commercial flights or IAF’s aircraft.
- India has set up separate control roomsin Jeddah and Port Sudan and the India embassy in Khartoum has been coordinating with them and the MEA’s headquarters in Delhi.
- Indian diaspora in Sudan:
- As per official estimates, the total number of Indians in Sudan is around 3,400 with around 1,000 PIOs (Persons of Indian Origin) who have been residing in Sudan for generations.
- Many Indians working for the oil and gas industry stay in distant places and it is not easy to find out about them in the given circumstances.
- This is likely to be a more challenging part of the operation as many are caught up in places like El Fashir in Darfur which is highly volatile at the moment.
- The focus of Operation Kaveri is now shifting to those groups of Indians who live in distant parts of Sudan away from Khartoum.
More about the Conflict in Sudan
- The roots of the ongoing conflict go back to April 2019,when Sudan’s long-serving authoritarian President Omar al-Bashir was overthrown by military generals following a countrywide uprising against him.
- Despite Bashir’s ouster, civilians continued their demonstrations seeking democratic elections.
- It led to an agreement between the military and the protesters under which it was decided to constitute the Sovereignty Council, a power-sharing body of military officers and civilians, and elections at the end of 2023.
- But, the new arrangement was short-lived as the military overthrew the government in October 2021, and Lt Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan became de-facto leader of the country.
- Burhan announced that the military would hold power until elections are held in July 2023.
- Over the past few weeks, the RSF (Para-military which was formed in 2013) was redeployed around the country, which the army saw as a provocation and threat.
- With both sides on edge, a ferocious battle broke out.
- Reason of recent crisis:
- Clashes erupted after heightened tensions between the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary groupled by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo — also known as Hemedti — and the military, headed by Lt Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.
- The two generals disagree over the proposed transition to civilian rule in Sudan.
- Repercussions for Sudan:
- The third largest country in Africa by size has seen repeated pro-democracy protests since the 2021 coup.
- Some experts fear the tussle could transform into a wider conflict leading to the country’s collapse.
- Sudan’s economy is struggling, battered by hyperinflation and crippled by massive foreign debt.
- Billions of dollars given in international support and debt relief, were frozen after the ouster of the government.