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Sudanese who fled the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region, cross the border between Sudan and Chad.


UN: Sudan situation is spiraling

Four months after conflict broke out between rival factions in Sudan, the UN warned this week that the situation is spiraling out of control.

The grim statistics: At least 1 million people – roughly the population of Austin, Texas – have fled to neighboring countries, while over 3 million remain displaced inside Sudan, according to UN data.

At least 380,000 Sudanese have fled to Chad, where they languish in refugee camps, while many others have sought refuge in South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Libya – all of which are grappling with their own domestic crises.

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A Sudanese girl who fled the conflict in Darfur stands at her makeshift shelter near the border between Sudan and Chad

A Sudanese girl who fled the conflict in Darfur stands at her makeshift shelter near the border between Sudan and Chad.

Another flareup in Western Darfur

As fighting between two rival army factions in Sudan rages on, the spillover effects on the restive Darfur region are getting worse.

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People walk as they protest in Moundou, Chad.


What We’re Watching: Chaos in Chad, Biden’s barrels of oil

Trouble in Chad

Around 50 people were killed Thursday in Chad amid clashes between security forces and protesters over the junta's decision to delay returning to civilian rule by two years. Hundreds more were injured. The anger is directed at Mahamat Idriss Déby, who took over the Central African nation in April 2021 after his strongman dad and namesake was assassinated by a rebel group. Upon assuming power, the four-star general quickly dissolved parliament to rule by decree but promised to hold a new election in 18 months (Chadians were not happy about it). Earlier this month, military leaders pushed that deadline back to October 2024. Déby, 38, was sworn in last week as "transitional” president and says he plans to run for the job. Will Chadians let him? It's unclear if the younger Déby has as firm a grip as his father, who led the country with an iron fist for 30 years and was considered a reliable Western ally against Islamic extremism. One external player in a tricky spot is former colonial power France: Paris is wary of rising anti-French sentiment there and wants to keep a low profile, but it also needs stability because French energy major Total does a lot of business in oil-rich Chad.

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Mahamat Idriss Deby, son of late Chadian President Idriss Deby, attends his father's state funeral in N'Djamena.

Christophe Petit Tesson/Pool via REUTERS

What We’re Watching: Chad unrest continues, Brazil spikes Sputnik, Chinese population falls

Chadians reject "soft" coup: Street protests against Chad's new military-led government have turned bloody a week after the killing of longtime President Idriss Déby. Interim leader Mahamat Idriss Déby, son of the slain Idriss, has named one of his dad's former allies as prime minister, but the opposition says he has no right to do so because he took over in a coup (and neighboring countries agree). Meanwhile France, the former colonial power which backed Déby père for 30 years, was initially open to a civilian-military transition, but has changed its position and now wants a civilian-only government before a fresh election in 18 months. But as long as the younger Déby follows in his father's footsteps by remaining a strong ally of the West against jihadists in the wider Sahel region, Paris surely won't put up too much of a fuss.

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Reaction to the verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

REUTERS/Carlos Barria

What We’re Watching: George Floyd's family gets justice, India’s COVID mess, political turmoil in Chad

Guilty: Eleven months after George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, died under the knee of Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, on a Minneapolis street corner, we finally have a verdict in the murder trial. On Tuesday, a jury found Chauvin guilty of all three charges: second- and third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter. The verdict was celebrated by advocates for racial justice and police reform. Last summer, video footage of Floyd suffocating to death as he cried out "I can't breathe" galvanized anti-racism protests across America (some of which turned violent) that went global. We're watching to see if the jury's verdict gives fresh impetus to the nationwide movement for police accountability and broader criminal justice reform, both of which have been met with fierce resistance from law-and-order conservatives and police unions. And we'll also be keeping an eye on the sentence, as Chauvin faces up to 75 years in prison for his crimes.

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