El Fasher – Darfur 24

The conflict in Al-Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state, is not limited to the army and the Rapid Support Forces only, as there are multiple parties in its battles, including militias, movements, and poular mobilization forces, making it the (hottest spot) in Sudan.

The battles for El Fasher began on May 10, after both sides of the war mobilized thousands of soldiers and fighters from movements, militias, and mobilized to fight alongside them, as a fateful battle that could determine the future of the Darfur region.

The main parties to the war in El Fasher are made up of the army, the Rapid Support and the Joint Forces, which is the alliance of the armed movements that signed the 2020 Juba peace agreement. The armed movements that are made up of the Sudan Liberation Movements led by Minni Arko Minawi and the Justice and Equality Movement led by Jibril Ibrahim after a group led by Suleiman Sandal split from them and chose rapprochement. With rapid support, the matter applies to the two Sudan Liberation Movements, the Transitional Council, led by Al-Hadi Idris, and the Sudan Liberation Forces, led by Al-Tahir Hajar, from which groups broke away and chose to fight alongside the army.

If El Fasher falls, the Rapid Support Forces will control the region, except for small areas, including three localities located in Central Darfur State, which are under the control of the Sudan Liberation Movement – led by Abdel Wahid Mohamed Nour.

Official military presence

The 6th Infantry Division, which is the army base in El Fasher, consists of a number of important military units, including artillery, engineers, air defense, and the signal corps.

A military source told “Darfur 24” that the city of El Fasher has a reserve force from the military divisions that fell in the cities of Nyala in South Darfur, El Daein in East Darfur, Zalingei in Central Darfur, and El Geneina in West Darfur, in addition to a number of military garrisons in Manwashi, Buram, Rahid al-Bardi, Kass in South Darfur, and the garrisons of Kabkabiya and Umm Kadada. Kutum in North Darfur.

He estimated the reserve force at more than 14,000 soldiers who had not yet entered the battlefields.

Movements… liquidating old differences

A military commander in the joint force of the armed movements fighting alongside the Sudanese army against the Rapid Support Forces reported the presence of large numbers of members of the joint force, approximately 60,000 fighters.

The joint force consists of the Sudan Liberation Army Movement, led by Minni Arko Minawi, the Justice and Equality Movement, led by Jibril Ibrahim, forces from the Sudan Liberation Forces Group, under the field command of General Abboud Khater, and forces from the Sudan Liberation Army Movement – Transitional Council, under the leadership of Salah Rasas and under the field command of Othman Abdel Jabbar.

The military commander told “Darfur 24” that the joint force was divided into four main groups in the west, south, north and east of El Fasher.

He stressed the presence of forces affiliated with the Sudan Liberation Movement-Transitional Council, led by Al-Hadi Idris, and another force affiliated with the Sudan Liberation Forces Group, led by Al-Tahir Hajar, numbers of which joined the army and the joint force, while the rest withdrew outside the city.

Many militias

In addition to the armed movements, there are other groups fighting with the army against the Rapid Support Forces, which intensified their artillery shelling of Al-Fasher neighborhoods and the displacement camps there.

Speaking to Darfur 24, he pointed out that the army trained approximately 6,000 mustermen within the popular resistance last year to fight alongside it.

He mentioned that there is another force called the Popular Resistance for Self-Defense, “Qashn,” which are armed citizens in neighborhoods to protect their property and themselves against the Rapid Support Forces, and they are made up of most neighborhood youth.

A source – who preferred to withhold his identity – stated that Shugara forces, known in the town of Umm Kadada, infiltrated hundreds of people into El Fasher during last April and May, and their members are currently in advanced positions with the army.

In Zamzam camp, 20 km from El Fasher, eyewitnesses said that the local forces known as “Takushat”, which after 2019 were composed of former soldiers from the armed movements and some young people displaced in the camp after the camp’s residents in the agricultural fields were exposed to attacks from shepherds, which were aimed at protecting them. The number of its members increased significantly after the siege of El Fasher

An eyewitness to “Darfur 24” estimated the force’s numbers at more than 500 armed men working regularly to protect the camp.

Although the head of the Awakening Council; Musa Hilal announced that he stood with the army, but a military source told “Darfur 24” that Hilal is not actually fighting with the army on the ground.

Rapid support mobilization among the tribes

A number of Mustafarin fighters from Arab tribes in Darfur are fighting with the Rapid Support Forces in the city of El Fasher.

Eyewitnesses who spoke to “Darfur 24” monitored the arrival of large numbers of fighters with large movements from the regions of South, East, Central and West Darfur.

One of the leaders of the native administration in South Darfur said that the Committee for Support and Mobilization of Kh.