sudanese map

The Cause of Conflict in Sudan

Even after Sudan split into North and South Sudan, the two countries were again in a war-state. A referendum in the South held in January 2011 resulted in an irresistible vote favoring partition. Although the North seemed to accept the referendum results, in a real sense, it did not. Moreover, the South was also too divided internally and incompetent to engage in successful negotiation issues. Hence, separation happened when the host of the main problem remained unresolved. Below are some of the leading causes of conflict in Sudan.

Oil Production


South Sudan produces up to 75% of oil production Sudan. Therefore, having to share the revenue equally with the North brought about the conflict. On the other hand, South Sudan is landlocked and has to export its oil via the North, making it dependable. The most significant contributor to the government’s annual budget comes from oil production, making it a contest point. On top of this, some government officials could embezzle the oil sector’s revenues and deposit cash in foreign countries. In the end, the locals do not benefit much from oil production.

Weak Institutional Capacity

The conflicts, especially in South Sudan, can be associated with the inability of concerned institutions to mediate and manage the conflicts that sprout out in the army and the general public. The country is too divided internally. Furthermore, other than political conflict, South Sudan encounters a problem of weakness or even institutions’ absence. Hence, the lack of recognized capacity within the state looks like a case in point. Instead, institution establishment is based on personality cults and ethnic aggregation.

Power Struggle


Following the death of John Garang in a helicopter crash, a few weeks after his inauguration as GoSS president, his long-term deputy took over. Salva Kiir led South Sudan into independence in 2011. However, differences within the party signified violence as early as 2008. There were differences between the president and secretary-general, which threatened to wreck the upcoming elections.

Moreover, the relationship between the president and his deputy was at the edge, but it was overlooked for election purposes. However, tensions erupted when the vice president, secretary-general, and Madam Rebecca Garang announced their intention to run for the presidency. President Kiir removed executive powers from his deputy and dissolved the government, removing them from government office.


Sudan’s constant conflict has interrelated factors that include corruption, impunity and patronage, power struggle, and weak institutional capacity. Furthermore, the instrumentalization of ethnic identities has acted as a catalyst in these conflicts. Arms proliferation and militarization, lack of commitment towards building the nation, oil, and past rift have contributed to civil wars. The conflicts have led to economic, political, and humanitarian consequences in the country and the surrounding region.