On 2nd January 2020, a military aircraft crashed five minutes after taking off from El-Geneina Airport en route the capital of Sudan, Khartoum, in what would be the first major air crash of the decade. The aircraft, a Soviet-built Antonov An-12, crashed into a field, killing all eighteen passengers onboard, including four children. The cause of the crash is currently unknown, but an investigation is underway. The aircraft type has however recently been involved in several crash incidents shortly after take-off.
The aircraft had been delivering aid to the El-Geneina area, which has experienced numerous deadly clashes between tribal groups. In the most recent uprising, forty-eight people were killed, and over two hundred were wounded. Nasr al-Din Abdel Bari, the Sudanese Minister of Justice, was planning to fly on this aircraft, but had opted to remain in El-Geneina pending investigations into the clashes.
In the past decade, Sudan has been plagued with numerous internal issues as the nation is strongly divided by religion. In 2011, South Sudan declared its independence from the North, which marked a split between the Muslim North and Christian South.