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Fighting Restarts In Sudan After 24-Hour Ceasefire Comes To An End

A 24-hour ceasefire in Sudan has ended and clashes between warring political factions have resumed, dampening hopes for a quick solution to the situation in the country.

The conflict erupted in mid-April, when the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary group, took up arms against the Sudanese army in the capital Khartoum. The fighting quickly escalated, plunging Sudan into chaos.

Sudan is the only conduit for landlocked South Sudan’s crude oil. South Sudan has an estimated 3.5 billion barrels in oil deposits. The two countries export primarily Nile and Dar blends to markets in Asia from Port Sudan via the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. While most of the oil belongs to South Sudan, the two countries together exported some 132,000 bpd of crude oil in 2021. This has since risen to some 170,000 bpd.

This is not a whole lot of oil but it appears to be enough to get some oil traders worried about the security of these exports in a market that is getting increasingly tight in the supply department.

The ceasefire that lasted from Saturday to Sunday was brokered by U.S. and Saudi mediators but these have so far failed to achieve a more lasting arrangement between the two warring factions: the Sudanese army led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the head of the Rapid Support Forces and former deputy of Al-Burhan, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo.

So far, the conflict has resulted in 1,800 deaths and the displacement of close to 2 million people, according to media reports. Analysts have pointed out that neither the Sudanese army nor the Rapid Support Forces have any interest in disrupting oil flows from South Sudan, Al Jazeera reported in April. Yet the fighting has threatened the security of transport for the oil from landlocked South Sudan to the Sudanese coast.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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