Four killed and village destroyed as RSF attacks SPLM-N base in South Kordofan

Tukma village, southeast of Delling town in the northern part of the Nuba Mountains (OCHA map of South Kordofan)

The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) attacked the village of Tukma, southeast of Delling in the northern part of South Kordofan, yesterday morning. Four people were killed and the village was destroyed. During the attack, the RSF clashed with forces of the Sudan People Liberation Movement-North faction, led by Abdelaziz El Hilu (SPLM-N El Hilu).

Witnesses reported that the RSF launched the attack with 10 combat vehicles and a “considerable number” of motorcycles. “The assailants not only burned down the entire village market, but also plundered the homes of all its residents”, according to a witness account. Four people were killed in the attack. South Kordofan journalist Abdelrahim Kunda told Radio Dabanga that the RSF withdrew shortly after, retreating to Debibad.

During the attack, the RSF clashed with forces of the SPLM-N El Hilu, who used Tukma as their military base since mid-fall of this year.

In an effort to mediate and cease hostilities, native administration leaders in Greater Delling area proposed “a joint withdrawal, with the RSF moving to the north and the SPLM-N to the south. The community leaders further suggested the formation of neighbourhood committees to build trust, committees to exchange stolen funds between the warring parties, and convening of a youth meeting,” Kunda reported.

Emir Nabil Badawi, conveying the terms to the SPLM-N forces, confirmed that El Hilu’s forces “responded by withdrawing south of Delling”.

As reported by Sudan War Monitor this morning, “this is one of the first incidents of reported violence between the RSF and SPLM-North since the war began in April”.

In June, about two months after war broke out between the SAF and the paramilitary RSF, the SPLM-N El Hilu began to attack SAF bases in South Kordofan and the southern part of the Blue Nile region. Fighting between the army and the rebel movement continued the following months.

SPLM-N El-Hilu launched a three-day attack on the Azrag military garrison in Heiban in the Nuba Mountains, with conflicting unofficial reports about its fall and an alleged seizure of eight armoured vehicles and weapons. No official statement was issued by the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) nor SPLM-N to confirm the accuracy of these reports at the time of writing.

In a separate incident, armed herders raided the orchard of retired Maj Gen Mohamed Markazu in eastern Delling yesterday.

Speaking to South Kordofan journalist Kunda, the orchard supervisor explained that herders “stormed the garden on Monday night and forcibly let in their livestock”, adding he was concerned about potential damage to fruit trees and the orchard infrastructure as gunmen were deployed around the premises.

Living conditions

Over the past eight days, Delling witnessed a significant influx of people from peripheral neighbourhoods to the inner areas of the town. An eastern Delling resident said that most residents left his neighbourhood out of fear. “Only ten families remain.” He mentioned that his family relocated due to rumours of a potential attack by El Hilu’s forces “in the next three days”.

The market in Delling is experiencing a noticeable surge in basic commodity prices, with sugar reaching SDG1,800 per kilogramme, onions soaring to SDG6,000 per kilogramme, and a bottle of petrol costing SDG8,000. The transportation tariff now stands at SDG500. Delling market is reportedly witnessing an influx of fuel from Libya and Uganda.

Last week, nine people were killed, multiple others injured, and hundreds of families were forced to flee due to violent ‘herder clashes’ in and near Delling.