Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces Seize Al-Fula, West Kordofan Capital

Sudanese families prepare to ride on trucks while on their way to Egypt through the Qustul border, after the crisis in Sudan's capital Khartoum, in the Sudanese city of Wadi Halfa, Sudan May 1, 2023. (Reuters)
Sudanese families prepare to ride on trucks while on their way to Egypt through the Qustul border, after the crisis in Sudan's capital Khartoum, in the Sudanese city of Wadi Halfa, Sudan May 1, 2023. (Reuters)
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Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces Seize Al-Fula, West Kordofan Capital

Sudanese families prepare to ride on trucks while on their way to Egypt through the Qustul border, after the crisis in Sudan's capital Khartoum, in the Sudanese city of Wadi Halfa, Sudan May 1, 2023. (Reuters)
Sudanese families prepare to ride on trucks while on their way to Egypt through the Qustul border, after the crisis in Sudan's capital Khartoum, in the Sudanese city of Wadi Halfa, Sudan May 1, 2023. (Reuters)

Sudan's Rapid Support Forces (RSF) announced on Thursday that they have fully captured the strategic city of Al-Fula, the capital of West Kordofan state.

The RSF shared videos of their leaders speaking from the local government headquarters, confirming the takeover.

Local sources said the RSF attacked Al-Fula, leading to fierce clashes with the Sudanese army at the military garrison. Dozens were killed, but the exact number of civilian and military casualties is still unclear.

West Kordofan is strategically important due to its large oil fields. Controlling Al-Fula gives the RSF a significant advantage for future attacks in the state and secures supply routes through Darfur.

The city is also crucial because oil pipelines from South Sudan pass through it for export via the Red Sea.

The RSF announced on its official X account: “Our forces have liberated the brigade of the 22nd Division in Babnusa (another town in West Kordofan) from Burhan’s terrorist militia (referring to Sudanese army leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan).”

The Sudanese army has not responded.

In response to the fall of Al-Fula, the West Kordofan state government urged all “mobilized forces and popular resistance” to prepare for a decisive battle to expel the “rebel militia (RSF)” from the state.

The government condemned the RSF’s attack and the looting of markets and civilian areas.

It noted that Al-Fula is home to thousands of civilians who have fled other parts of the state due to militia attacks, calling these actions a violation of international law.

The Babnusa Emergency Room reported that Al-Fula has received thousands of people fleeing the ongoing conflict in recent months.

RSF commanders had previously threatened to overrun the city and warned army forces and officials to leave.



Sudan's RSF Agrees with UN on Steps to Ease Aid Delivery

Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
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Sudan's RSF Agrees with UN on Steps to Ease Aid Delivery

Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

Sudan's Rapid Support Forces agreed with the United Nations on some steps to ease aid delivery in areas under its control, a member of the RSF told Reuters on Thursday.

The Sudanese army has not reached any understandings on aid delivers with the RSF, he added. It is unclear if these steps could be implemented without the army's participation.

Meanwhile, a key supply route into Sudan's Darfur region, deemed at risk of famine by a global monitor, has been cut off due to heavy rains, a World Food Program official told Reuters on Thursday.
The UN agency has described Sudan as the world's biggest hunger crisis, with the western Darfur region most at risk as Sudan's 15-month civil war that has displaced millions and sparked ethnic violence grinds on.
WFP's Country Director Eddie Rowe said thousands of tons of aid are stranded at the Tina crossing on the Chad border, prompting the body to reopen talks with the army-aligned government to open an alternative, all-weather crossing further south called Adre.
"You have these huge rivers. As I speak now, our convoy, which is supposed to move over 2000 metric tons is stranded," he told Reuters from Port Sudan. Asked on the status of the talks that resumed this week, he said: "It's 50/50.”
WFP is now seeking clearances to move a large 70-truck convoy via a little-used, over 1000 kilometer route from Port Sudan to Darfur which Rowe said will involve crossing the battle lines of both the Sudan Armed Forces, the Rapid Support Forces and various militias.
He added that this mostly desert route has worked in the past but outside of the rainy season and that the last journey took weeks and was "fraught with a lot of challenges.”
In a separate interview, Mona Rishmawi, a member of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Sudan, told Reuters that she had met Darfur refugees in Chad who told her stories of escaping with virtually no water and eating grass along the route. "There's no doubt that people are starving," she said.