Government of Sudan: The government is led by the National Congress Party (NCP) with President Omar al Bashir, who was re-elected in April 2015 with 94% of the vote. Bashir first took office following a coup in 1989. He has an outstanding arrest warrant, issued by the International Criminal Court in 2009, for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes committed in Darfur.?
Pro-government forces: The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) are the government forces of Sudan. The Rapid Support Force (RSF) is an additional armed force created by the government in 2013 to help defeat the opposition armed groups across the country. The RSF is under the command of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) and is primarily active in the conflict regions of Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile.? On 16 January, the Sudanese parliament voted to allow the president tighter control over the RSF, including the power to integrate it into the regular armed forces.? This may be a sign of a power struggle within the Sudanese leadership prompting Bashir to strengthen his control of former irregular forces.
Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF): The Sudan Revolutionary Front was established in 2011 as a loose alliance of Sudan’s main opposition armed groups, with the shared goal of overthrowing the National Congress Party. The SRF includes the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement - North (SPLM-N) that controls areas in Blue Nile and South Kordofan, and Darfur’s three largest opposition groups: the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM); the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid Al Nur (SLM-AW); and the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Arkou Minnawi (SLM-MM). In January 2017, the SLM-MM and JEM are reported to be operating from Libya and South Sudan, respectively.?
Egypt: Tensions are mounting between Khartoum and Cairo following Sudan's decision to restrict the import of farming products from Egypt. Cairo reacted by raising residency charges for Sudanese living in Egypt.? There is also contention over the Halayeb triangle area. The Sudanese government is claiming that Egypt's presence there amounts to military occupation. The Egyptian government rejects this claim and lodged an objection with the United Nations on 4 May.? A diplomatic trip to Egypt was cancelled on 30 May due to accusations by Sudan that Egypt has been supporting the Darfur rebels in the recent insurgency.? There are also tensions surrounding the issue of the proposed dam that is to be built by Ethiopia. Sudan supports Ethiopia in its plans to construct a dam on the Nile as they will have a trade free zone and railroad to aid equitable water usage. Egypt opposes Sudan and Ethiopia on this project as it fears this could jeopardise water levels in the Nile which would in turn have negative consequences for Egypt.?
Chad: Chad, Sudan, and the United Nations have signed bilateral agreements for the voluntary return of refugees from both countries on 31 May. All parties referenced the sizable number of spontaneous returns that have already occurred. There are over 350,000 Sudanese refugees registered in Chad as of 1 June, however, there may be up to an additional 650,000 who are unregistered.??
UN peacekeeping mission: On 29 June, the Security Council renewed the mandate of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) until 30 June 2018. It also decided to downsize the mission in two phases. The mission currently has 15,845 troops and 3,403 police. The first phase would reduce the presence of troops and police to 11,395 and 2,888, respectively and at the end of phase two, to 8,735 troops and 2,500 police. ? On 15 May, the Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA) until 15 November 2017.? The Sudanese government routinely denies peacekeepers access on the ground and refuses to issue visas to mission personnel.?
United States: A decision regarding the lifting of economic sanctions on Sudan has been delayed until 12 October. Human rights groups have welcomed the delay. It was decided that more time is required to make the decision to revoke the 20-year embargo.?