Sudan war: RSF seize Sirba in West Darfur, heavy battles in Nyala and Khartoum

Army soldiers at the Wad Sedna base in Omdurman, July 2023 (SAF)

The paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and allied gunmen took control of Sirba, West Darfur, on Wednesday, preventing people from leaving the town. Many residents of Nyala fled their homes after heavy fighting resumed in the city yesterday. Battles between the army and the RSF continued in Khartoum state.

Sirba lies 23 kilometres north of El Geneina, capital of West Darfur, that was for a large part destroyed by RSF troops and affiliated Arab tribesmen in the past two months.

A resident of Sirba told Radio Dabanga yesterday that the many houses and shops at the market were torched after they had been plundered.

“The people killed and injured are being counted,” he said, and added that the attackers “prevented residents from fleeing Sirba and even returned those who had managed to leave the town”.

A statement on behalf of the Sons of Eringa Gathering yesterday said that RSF soldiers and Arab gunmen launched their first attacks on Sirba locality on Monday.

“They arrived in 127 vehicles mounted with heavy weapons. Others came on motorcycles and on horses and camels,” the Eringa tribal leaders said. An unknown number of people was killed and injured, and the entire town of Sirba was set on fire.

“The RSF supported attacks continue until this writing,” the statement reads. “They are launched from the south, east, and north. Fleeing people were prevented to leave the town.”

Those who managed to escape the violence are hindered by heavy rainfall while they do not have any shelter.

The Eringa leaders hold the acting deputy governor of West Darfur, El Tijani Karshoum, as well as the commander of the 56th Army Brigade and the director of the Sirba Military Intelligence, responsible for the violence.

According to the statement, both military leaders withdrew from the area before the attacks began “by arrangement of the deputy governor”.

Since the start of the war between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the RSF in April 15, RSF troops and Arab gunmen took control of a number of West Darfur towns, including El Geneina and Misterei. The extremely violent attacks caused the displacement of thousands of mostly non-Arab African inhabitants (Masalit, Eringa, Gimir, and Zaghawa).

‘The attackers prevented residents from fleeing Sirba and even returned those who had managed to leave the town.’


Fierce fighting between the SAF and RSF yesterday resumed in the capital of South Darfur.

People told Radio Dabanga from Nyala that the 16th Infantry Division and RSF troops began shelling yesterday morning.

They said they heard strong explosions in the north, south and west of the city, causing more residents of these neighbourhoods to flee to the countryside and to North and East Darfur.

Other sources reported power outages, almost no communications network, and poor services on social media.

After four days of heavy battles between the RSF and the 16th Infantry Division in Nyala, the city witnessed a cautious calm on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Wadi Sedna

Fierce battles took place in southern Omdurman, especially in El Mohandesin and El Fitihab, in south Omdurman, while the army shelled several RSF targets in Khartoum North (Khartoum Bahri).

The RSF reported it “carried out an operation at the Wadi Sedna army base in Omdurman, which resulted in the destruction of MiG and Antonov jets”, while military sources said that the Wadi Sedna base was attacked by drones and mortar shelling. Two aircraft that were “out of service” were destroyed.

Resistance committees of El Imtidad El Daraja El Talta, directly south of central Khartoum, reported the death of a man by a sniper’s bullet in front of his house on Wednesday.