KHARTOUM / EL OBEID / ZALINGEI / ADRÉ (CHAD) / EL GEDAREF –
The air offensive against the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) which the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) intensified earlier this week, continued this morning in various parts of Khartoum state. Fierce fighting was also reported in North Kordofan. Zalingei witnessed gunfights. Many fleeing West Darfuri go missing on the road to Chad. In El Gedaref in eastern Sudan, army forces on Wednesday evacuated a hostel where displaced people were sheltering.
Warplanes of the Sudanese Air Force continue to target RSF positions in Khartoum, Khartoum North (Khartoum Bahri) and Omdurman, while the paramilitaries responded with anti-aircraft guns, various sources told Radio Dabanga this morning.
They reported seeing heavy smoke above El Ma’amoura neighbourhood in Khartoum.
The sources added that the army yesterday deployed large numbers of special operations forces, while the Sudanese Air Force bombed RSF positions in Shambat and Halfaya in Khartoum North.
Omdurman witnessed continuous overflights of fighter jets. A number of explosions were heard in the southern part of the city. Ditches are reportedly being dug in El Morada neighbourhood near the Sudan TV and radio buildings, controlled by the RSF, as defence against army attacks.
Military sources said that the army extended its control over neighbourhoods in south-eastern Khartoum, yet the RSF seems to have control of a number of sites in the area, as they responded with anti-aircraft guns to overflying warplanes.
Listeners reported renewed SAF-RSF clashes in El Obeid on Wednesday. A child was killed and four people were wounded by artillery shells and stray bullets.
The battles concentrated in the western part of the city. “The armed forces were able to repel the RSF attacks on the neighbourhoods,” one of the sources said. He added that calm returned to the city on Thursday.
RSF troops also attacked Bara, about 60 kilometres north of El Obeid, on Wednesday evening. The violence continued until the early hours of Thursday morning, Mahmoud Salem reported to Radio Dabanga.
He said that a group of armed residents attempted to stop the paramilitaries from entering the town but failed. “The RSF raided the market, shops, and also pharmacies where they stole medicines. They entered houses where they robbed the people of their money and belongings and took a number of private vehicles with them as well.”
Salem condemned the attacks and the thefts and noted that “these developments may lead to tribal confrontations”.
Yesterday, Radio Dabanga reported that the war that erupted between the SAF and RSF in Khartoum on April 15 has caused the emergence of tribal mobilisation efforts, as well as alignments between certain tribes.
The Sudanese Journalists Syndicate reported yesterday that Radio Zalingei journalist Samaher Abdelshafee was killed last Friday.
She died instantly when a shell hit shelters in Hasaheisa camp for the displaced near Zalingei, capital of Central Darfur. She had found refuge in the camp after she and her family had been forced to leave their home in Zalingei’s El Wehda neighbourhood.
Since May, RSF soldiers and groups of armed men have been attacking and plundering Zalingei.
The head of the breakaway Sudan Liberation Movement-Tambour, warned in mid-June of a humanitarian catastrophe in the area.
“The militiamen have committed the most heinous crimes in Zalingei, including killings, looting, and theft that affected all facilities and led to the outage of Zalingei Teaching Hospital,” Mustafa Tambour said.
In end June, activists in the city as well reported a rapidly deteriorating health situation.
On Wednesday, two residents of the Teksas neighbourhood in the South Darfur capital Nyala were killed during a firefight between army and RSF troops.
A resident of the neighbourhood told Radio Dabanga that an army force tracing RSF soldiers opened fire on the market of Teksas, killing two people and wounding a number of others.
In West Darfur, the road between devastated state capital El Geneina and the nearby town of Adré in eastern Chad is still “extremely insecure”.
He said that large numbers of people who fled El Geneina, disappeared on their way to the Chadian border. “The situation is very dangerous. Many are shot dead while fleeing. There are many bodies lying in the streets of El Geneina and on the roads to the border.”
In El Gedaref, eastern Sudan, military troops raided the city’s youth hostel on Wednesday and evacuated the building, which was hosting displaced people from Khartoum.
The El Gedaref Emergency Room set up by volunteers reported that the action came as part of an order by the municipality to evacuate the hostel. “No reasons were given.”
The hostel sheltered “special cases of people with chronic diseases such as diabetes, blood pressure, heart and crisis, and elderly and people with disabilities”.