Sudanese army general ‘digs own grave’ in South Darfur capital

Maj Yassir Fadlallah, commander of the 16th Infantry Division of the Sudan Armed Forces (File photo)

The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) has confirmed that the commander of the 16th Infantry Division died yesterday in Nyala, capital of South Darfur. Recent fighting between the army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in the city and surroundings has displaced thousands of families. 

The head of the Sovereignty Council and commander-in-chief of the army, Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, mourned Maj Yasir Fadlallah, who was killed “in the line of duty,” the SAF command said in a statement yesterday.  

The General Command’s statement did not reveal which party assassinated him, describing it as treachery and betrayal. Sources, however, told the Arabic Al Hadath TV satellite channel that he was killed by a member of the division at its headquarters.  

On Saturday, Fadlallah dug his own grave at the division’s command as a sign of his willingness to die for victory over the RSF. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 60 people were killed and 250 wounded since clashes renewed between August 11 and 17. 

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan yesterday reported that 10,000 families have fled their homes from neighbourhoods in southern Nyala because of fighting between the army and the RSF. Staff at the Turkish Hospital are “struggling to cope with the influx of wounded people,” despite being already understaffed. 

“There are concerns that continued fighting will cause the already precarious humanitarian situation in the state to deteriorate and heighten the health, nutrition, sanitation, and food security needs of the vulnerable. Meanwhile, some areas could become inaccessible if roads become impassable during the ongoing rainy season.” 

According to a source of prominent Sudan researcher and analyst Eric Reeves, the presence of the Joint Forces of the Juba Peace Agreement has added a “sense of relative security” for Nyala residents, who are “conducting their daily activities under exceptional circumstances.” 

The latest Flash Alert of Displacement Tracking Matrix of the IOM, published yesterday, reported that affected families fled to other parts of the city, existing camps for the displaced in the vicinity, and other parts of South Darfur and East Darfur. 

Nyala has been witnessing continued clashes between the army and the RSF since the outbreak of the war in April, leading to hundreds of deaths and injuries. The Humanitarian Aid Commission in South Darfur revealed that 296,000 people have been displaced in the state between the outbreak of the war and August 6. The number of displaced people in South Darfur was already more than 515,000 before the war.