Clashes escalate as Sudanese army and RSF vie for armoured corps control
August 22, 2023 (KHARTOUM) – For the third consecutive day, fierce clashes between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) persisted in their struggle to gain control of the armoured corps camp, with both opposing factions asserting their victory over the other.
The armoured corps holds significant strategic importance within the Sudanese army. Yet, the focus in the urban warfare against the RSF has shifted toward the air force and artillery, which have played pivotal roles.
However, in an attempt to prevent the camp from being employed against them in the future, the RSF have relentlessly attacked the largest military base in the southern part of the capital.
During the second day of combat on Monday, the paramilitary forces managed to breach the eastern perimeter of the 20 km camp. However, the army remained steadfast in safeguarding critical sections of the site.
Eyewitnesses recounted hearing powerful explosions emanating from the eastern and southern directions of the Armored Corps camp on Tuesday morning. The air force carried out intensive bombings targeting RSF elements gatherings near the infantry camp.
Later during the day, footage circulated on RSF-affiliated social media depicted their fighters within the camp amidst the tanks. Meanwhile, army-associated pages shared video clips featuring soldiers asserting their triumph over successive waves of attacks.
One of these clips showcased the camp commander, Maj Gen Nasr El-Din Abdel-Fattah, and the Blue Nile Mobile Force commander, Maj Gen Ayoub Abdel-Qader, inside the command and control room, affirming the camp’s resolute defence.
Late on Tuesday evening, the Sudanese army issued a statement asserting their control over the strategically important military site:
“The Armored Corps has once again repelled a failed attack attempt by the rebel Hemedti militia, forcing them to retreat after incurring heavy losses. Our forces maintain full control over the Armored Corps and are ready to thwart any future attempts,” stressed the military statement.
This declaration came as a response to an RSF statement asserting, “Our forces have managed to seize control of the entire camp, except for isolated pockets that are being dealt with.”
Sudan Tribune faced difficulty verifying claims made by all parties involved in the conflict from impartial sources. Nonetheless, indications suggest that the RSF controls a portion of the extensive camp while the army commands another one.
In Omdurman, hostilities recommenced between the two factions within various city neighbourhoods. The fiercest clashes were concentrated in the Omdurman Grand Market, the Popular Market, and near the headquarters of the Central Reserve Forces.
In addition, the artillery bombardments targeted the RSF-controlled Shambat Bridge, which connects the cities of Omdurman and Khartoum North.
Several military experts advocate for the demolition of the Shambat Bridge to hinder the RSF’s entry into Khartoum North and their access to Khartoum via the Al-Manshiya Bridge, which also falls under RSF control.
The RSF has routinely mobilized its forces scattered throughout the capital for primary operations while the Sudanese army carries out air attacks during these mobilizations to neutralize a significant portion of its fighters.