Sudan: Both the Sudanese army and the RSF claim control of the Kordofan mountains

El Obeid – Both the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) announced control of the Mount Kordofan area near El Obeid, the capital of North Kordofan, following violent clashes on Tuesday.

The SAF reportedly attacked RSF sites in the area to secure a better field position in preparation for the battle for El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur.

The RSF said in a press release on Tuesday that it repelled two army attacks on Mount Kordofan and the Tandalti-Um Rawaba road, which aimed to open the Kosti White Road. The statement said the RSF killed hundreds of army soldiers and was able to seize and destroy a number of combat vehicles, tanks and trucks.

For its part, the SAF announced it had regained control of both Mount Kordofan and the headquarters of the Central Reserve Police Force (sanctioned by the US in 2022) in El Obeid, saying it inflicted heavy casualties on the paramilitary and mined a vital road near Kordofan Mountain.

The Kordofan mountain is 20 kilometers east of El Obeid. The area is of strategic importance as it links North Kordofan with South Kordofan and White Nile State and borders roads connecting El Obeid with Er Rahad and El Obeid with Kosti, south of Rabak, the capital of White Nile State.

The RSF yesterday confirmed the killing of its commander in Kordofan, Abdelmunim Sheriya, and a number of paramilitary officers in an army attack on the Tandalti-Um Rawaba axis in North Kordofan on Tuesday.

Strategic area

Speaking to Radio Dabanga, El Basha Tabig, advisor to RSF commander Mohamed ‘Hemedti’ Dagalo, explained that the road connecting Kosti in White Nile State to North Kordofan’s capital El Obeid is extremely important for delivering army supplies to El Obeid.

“We have controlled Mount Kordofan since the beginning of the war and the army is seeking to open the road Kosti-El Obeid to resume the delivery of supplies to the capital of North Kordofan in preparation for the start of advanced operations in the West. Kordofan and North Darfur .”

The fighting on the Kosti-Tandalti-Um Rawaba-El Obeid road was the fiercest of its kind since the outbreak of the war 11 months ago, he said, adding that the army suffered many losses in life and equipment.

He claimed that the RSF managed to eliminate the El Sayyad (the hunter) formation set up by Shamseldin Kabbashi, deputy commander of the SAF, during his visit to Tandalti in White Nile State in April.

Kabbashi described El Sayyad, made up of SAF soldiers, security forces and new recruits, a model formation in terms of “discipline, bravery and readiness to go into battle and achieve a decisive victory”.

The RSF adviser further ruled out a negative impact of the killing of commanders on military operations or on the morale of the forces. He told Radio Dabanga that RSF operations are controlled by a central force through a chain of command and that the second in command assumes his duties immediately after the killing of the first commander.

However, military expert Retd Lt Col Omar Arbab rejected his claims and said the killing of Sheriya and the officers had a major impact on the morale of the RSF foot soldiers.

He explained that the SAF attacks on the RSF in and around Mount Kordofan were aimed at opening the Kosti-El Obeid road, breaking the siege by the Haggana forces in El Obeid and regaining control of the city’s airport.

The El Sayyad formation was ambushed, he said, but it has not been possible to determine the extent of its losses.

Arbab expected the fighting to continue over the coming days “as part of efforts by the two sides to secure a better field situation in preparation for the major battle for El Fasher” in North Darfur, which is now largely besieged by the RSF.

Other experts say that if the SAF succeeds in taking control of Mount Kordofan, it will move towards the RSF-controlled areas of Er Rahad and Um Rawaba, to link its forces stationed in White Nile state with those in El Obeid and South Kordofan.

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