October 24, 2023 (NYALA) – Three members of the joint force of the armed groups in Darfur, tasked with the protection of civilians, lost their lives in an assault by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on Tuesday. The incident took place to the northwest of Nyala.
A high-ranking military official within the joint forces, speaking under the condition of anonymity, revealed to Sudan Tribune that “a substantial RSF contingent launched an attack on the joint forces’ base on Tuesday afternoon at the El Geneina Mawqif market, situated north of Nyala. This assault claimed the lives of Captain Mukhtar Sabir and two other members of our unit.”
The official shared that their forces effectively defended against the attack and subsequently pursued the RSF members into the Al-Darwa neighbourhood on the outskirts of Nyala. Characterizing the attack as “treacherous,” he cautioned the RSF against the consequences of targeting armed movements and compelling them to align with one side in the ongoing military conflict.
The movements that signed the peace agreement had previously declared their impartiality in the current dispute between the army and the RSF, aiming to prevent the conflict in Darfur from escalating into a full-scale war. Nevertheless, some smaller factions have chosen to join the warring parties.
The joint force, composed of signatories to the Juba peace agreement, has encountered multiple attacks in the past months. However, Tuesday’s assault occurred concurrently with the an offensive the RSF launched against the army’s command and its positions within the city.
The joint force’s spokesperson, Major Ahmed Hussein Mustafa, confirmed the incident in a brief statement to Sudan Tribune, acknowledging that the force was attacked without providing further details.
In August, the signatories group played a pivotal role in mediating a ceasefire that halted the hostilities between the army and the RSF in Nyala. Unfortunately, the truce unravelled within a few days, and both sides resumed fighting, with increased intensity.
Over the past two months, the armed movements have deployed a significant number of their troops to secure regions in the northern and western sectors of Nyala, including the El Geneina Mawqif market, the city’s sole operational market.