The armed groups battling against Sudan’s military claim to have taken over Nyala, the second largest city in the country outside of the Khartoum region. This could be a significant moment in the ongoing six-month conflict.
The statement released by the Rapid Support Forces announced that they had gained control of the army’s primary base in the city of South Darfur, the state’s capital. They also reported confiscating all equipment from the base. The RSF shared a video, which Reuters was unable to confirm, showing their soldiers celebrating by firing their weapons, asserting their success in overtaking the base.
The military did not provide a comment in response to the request, and a communication restriction made it challenging to immediately confirm the statement. This news came as both parties were planning to resume talks in Jeddah.
The RSF has successfully patrolled a majority of Khartoum, however, the army has safeguarded its important bases in the capital city. Many government officials have relocated to Port Sudan on the coast of the Red Sea.
The RSF released footage of their deputy leader, Abdelrahim Dagalo, who has been sanctioned by the US, claiming that he was spearheading the operation.
According to observers, Nyala is a center of trade that could potentially be used as a headquarters for the RSF. The area has recently experienced intense conflict, resulting in numerous casualties and widespread destruction of homes and necessary facilities.
Around 670,000 people in South Darfur have been forced to leave their homes, making it the second most impacted state after Khartoum.
The RSF, whose influence is centered in certain areas of Darfur, have been accused of committing a massacre based on ethnicity in the capital of West Darfur, Geneina, and exacerbating tensions throughout the region.
The RSF has seized Zalingei, the main city in Central Darfur. In the East Darfur capital, El Daein, the RSF has spread out while the army still has a presence there. Meanwhile, there are ongoing intense clashes over control of El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur.