As reported by BBC News on 18 June 2023, 25 homes were destroyed in air strikes in the densely populated Yarmouk district, leading to the death of 17 civilians. A 72-hour ceasefire was then agreed from 18 - 21 June 2023 (Al-Jazeera, 17 June 2023). Fighting resumed with intensity following a previous ceasefire less than ten days earlier: According to Al-Jazeera reporting on 11 June 2021: “Within 30 minutes of the ceasefire ending on Sunday morning, air raids, artillery shelling and machine guns could be heard pounding several parts of the country”. The insecurity has rejuvenated both tribal, clan and religious negative sentiments in many parts of the country especially in Darfur where Arab nomadic militias attacked more than 1000 civilians based on ethnicity. According to the UN, civilians have been deliberately attacked, and other indiscriminate attacks include rape and airstrikes on hospitals and orphanages: “No fewer than 71 children have died at an orphanage in Khartoum since the fighting began due to lack of humanitarian assistance, including medical supplies” (OHCHR Briefing notes, 9 June 2023).
World Watch Research analyst Yonas Dembele comments: “Christians in Sudan have endured significant challenges under successive regimes, facing religious restrictions and persecution. The political change in 2019 brought hope for progress and improved religious freedom. However, the current crisis threatens to reverse these gains if Islamist governance is reinstated. The ongoing fighting between Sudan’s armed forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces not only displaces civilians but also exposes Christians to targeted attacks by those who oppose them. Adding to the complexity is the fact that both warring factions are unlikely to prioritize the protection and well-being of the Christian community. This is evidenced by the kidnapping and killing of a government official from one of the regions in Darfur, illustrating how the conflict is expanding and revealing its potential to further escalate. The instability in Sudan also poses a broader concern, as it has the potential to generate further instability in the region. The ramifications of a destabilized Sudan can reverberate beyond its borders, impacting neighboring countries and exacerbating regional tensions.”