A year of war has torn through Sudan, causing devastation in a country that just a few years ago, was rich with immense promise. A revolution in 2021 toppled longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir and brought the prospect of a brighter future for Sudan's 45 million people. But a coup later that year, led by the army and supported by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, dashed those hopes. And now a fierce battle for control of Sudan between the two sides, fueled by international powers, has caused a major collapse.

Sudan now has the world's largest displacement crisis, according to humanitarian organizations. The fighting has forced more than 8 million people to flee their homes in the past year. The majority of the country is in need of humanitarian assistance and there is a risk of famine. Security monitors and aid groups estimate the conflict has killed at least 14,000 people, a tally that could be far lower than the true death toll, according to many experts. Hunger, malnutrition and the collapse of most health services have led to catastrophic conditions.

One of the most profound consequences are fears of another genocide in western Sudan's Darfur region, where African ethnic groups suffered a campaign of ethnic cleansing by Arab militias 20 years ago. The fighting never completely ended but had waned, until violence from the RSF and allied militias rocketed in the regionone year ago this week. Nearly 600,000 people have fled Darfur into neighboring Chad alone since last year.

Faiz Abubakr is a Sudanese photographer, based in Khartoum, who has documented how the war has upended life in his country.

Editor's note: The photographer did not provide the full names of those photographed in Sudan.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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