In one form or another, armed groups have been a feature of the Sudanese landscape since before the nation's independence in 1956. Since the 1990s, however, armed groups—particularly opposition groups but also pro-government militias—have played a central role in the historical development of Sudan. Today, they remain a nexus of armed violence against the state and local communities.
The Small Arms Survey has done extensive work to identify and shed light on the origins, commanders, activities, and motivations of groups operating in specific geographical areas, namely Darfur, South Sudan, Eastern Sudan, and the Three Areas. Tracking these groups can be extremely challenging. In Darfur, for example, seasoned observers are hard-pressed to stay current with the number of armed opposition groups that have fragmented repeatedly since the 2006 Darfur Peace Agreement. Countrywide a combination of insecurity, the volatile political situation, and the frequent inability to access areas make it extremely difficult to objectively follow developments on the ground. Many armed groups are also associated with the opportunism of politicians and commanders, and exhibit little transparency regarding their activities and backing.
Click below for information on armed groups in the following areas: