Category: News

Title: Sudan’s Vital Humanitarian and Political Situation

March 19th, 2024,  12:00pm – 1:30pm ET
Via Zoom. Register here.

This event is free and open to the general public. Registration is required. If you encounter registration issues, please contact

The Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown’s Conflict Resolution program, and the African Studies Program have partnered for the event, Sudan’s Vital Humanitarian and Political Situation, featuring Abdullahi Boru Halakhe, Kholood Khair, and Alden Young.

Since April 2023, Sudan has experienced a significant increase in violence, leading to an unprecedented surge in displacement and humanitarian need. Millions of people now face challenges in accessing basic services and necessities. Yet the severity of this humanitarian crisis in both Sudan and the wider region has received minimal attention. Compounded by complex geopolitical dynamics, marked by intractable conflict between the two primary warring parties and the participation of powerful external actors, the situation stands out as one of the most substantial crises the region has encountered in recent years.

Event Speakers

Abdullahi Boru Halakhe is the senior advocate for East and Southern Africa at Refugees International. He is an African policy expert with over a decade of experience in security, conflict, human rights, refugee work, and strategic communications.
Abdullahi has worked with and advised various international organizations including the International Rescue Committee, the International Crisis Group, Amnesty International, the BBC, and the World Federation of United Nations Associations, the European Union, the African Union, USAID, the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program. He has regional and thematic expertise having worked on/in Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger, and Chad on issues including humanitarian aid reform advocacy, refugees, internally displaced people, and security. Abdullahi has regularly appeared in the media as an expert guest and analyst and has published some of his work in the media, including on Al Jazeera, Reuters, BBC World Service, CNN International, Christian Science Monitor, The Guardian, The Independent, The German News Agency, New Zealand Public Radio, France 24, The Africa Report, African Arguments, and Think Africa Press. He has a book chapter on Kenya’s security agencies and the war in Somalia in the Oxford Handbook of Kenyan Politics.

Kholood Khair is a Sudanese political analyst and the founding director of Confluence Advisory, a “think-and-do” tank based in Khartoum. She is also a radio broadcaster, hosting and co-producing a weekly radio program, Spotlight 249, that is Sudan’s first English-language political discussion and debate show aimed at Sudanese youth. Khair has over a decade of experience in research, aid programming and policy in Sudan and across the Horn of Africa. She has written for Foreign Policy, Al Jazeera English, The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy and other international outlets and organizations, and has been quoted widely as a political analyst in the media, including in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the BBC and NPR. She has master’s degrees in African Studies from the University of Oxford and in Violence, Conflict and Development from SOAS University of London.

Alden Young is assistant professor of African American studies and a faculty member of the International Development Studies program of the UCLA International Institute. A political and economic historian of Africa, he is the author of Transforming Sudan: Decolonization, Economic Development and State Formation (Cambridge University Press, 2017). Young is particularly interested in the ways in which Africans participated in the creation of the current international order and has research interests on both sides of the Red Sea. He has done extensive fieldwork in Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. Young’s current research project examines how Sudanese intellectuals and businessmen conceptualized the rise of the Arab Gulf beginning in the 1970s and built economic, political and labor relationships between Sudan and the Gulf region. He is also engaged in two collaborative research projects: a study of post-partition conflicts in the Horn of Africa (e.g., Sudan-South Sudan and Ethiopia-Eritrea) with political scientist Michael Woldemariam, and a study of East African ideas of federation. Along with Nathalie Puetz of NYU Abu Dhabi, Young has been awarded a research grant by the Social Science Research Council to conceptualize the Red Sea as a region of study. A frequent contributor to international media outlets such as Al Jazeera, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy, Young is a non-resident fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and was a member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study of Princeton University for the 2019–2020 term.