Political Reports

Nyala… The Last Pressure Card iBurns Before Negotiations Begin

Report by Talal Mudathir

For over six months, the leadership of the Western Military Region in western Sudan, specifically in the 16th Division, Nyala, remained a prime target for Janjaweed attacks. However, on this unprecedented and harsh Wednesday, the rebel militia launched a fierce and relentless assault on Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state, located about 1000 kilometres from the capital, Khartoum. They were led by the second-in-command of the Rapid Support Forces, Abdulrahim Daqlo. Despite their fierce efforts, the attack ended in utter failure. What exactly happened?
Nyala: The Scorched Negotiation Card
Today’s rebel militia attack on Nyala ranks as the 54th in a series of assaults on the city since the start of the war in mid-April last year. The extraordinary military buildup on Wednesday was directly linked to Abdulrahim Daqlo’s leadership and his role as a valuable negotiating asset for the Rapid Support Forces. This buildup occurred just 24 hours before the commencement of the renegotiation talks between him and the Sudanese army scheduled for Thursday in Jeddah.
Attack on a Known Pattern
The Janjaweed meticulously planned today’s attack in alignment with their recent military operations against the Central Reserve Forces leadership in Khartoum. They launched a relentless assault on the 16th Division without hesitation, hoping to conquer the city and secure their state, free from the oppression of State 56. They sought to find the missing Northern Nile sons and declare their long-awaited government.
Joudat’s Sons Block the Way
The military leadership was not blind to the Janjaweed’s intentions and their plan to capture Nyala. They knew that the fall of Nyala would imply the fall of the rest of the units in El Fasher, El Geneina, and El Daein, as well as all the army areas in western Sudan. Afterwards, the Janjaweed aimed to advance to Jeddah, a victory they had long sought but failed to achieve.
The soldiers of General Hussein Joudat, the Division’s commander who took over after the treacherous assassination of Major General Yasser Fadlallah, were well-prepared before launching their sweeping counterattack against the militia today. The Janjaweed deployed all their troops, mercenaries from West Africa of various nationalities, equipped combat vehicles, and the PGMT-71 recoilless rifles they had recently acquired. Despite their best efforts, victory seemed elusive until the Sudanese Air Force surprised the marauding militia by appearing in the skies over Nyala, launching its shells, and signalling the Division’s soldiers to take the offensive position. This completely changed the course of the battle, and the Janjaweed began to flee.
A Battle on Thin Ice
The appearance of Sudanese army fighters in the skies struck fear into the hearts of militia fighters, prompting them to initiate heavy shelling of residential areas, turning the entire city of Nyala into a war zone. This led the Resistance Committees in Nyala to issue a statement, stating that Nyala had become a powder keg today, with ongoing clashes since the morning, and all neighbourhoods of Nyala were under fire.
The End
As the sun set on this Wednesday, the smoke dissipated, and the battle’s dust cleared as the rebel armies fled. The military aircraft continued to pursue and target them along the city’s outskirts, leaving behind many casualties. According to reliable sources, the toll in Nyala today includes an uncountable number of fatalities and the destruction of infantry and military equipment specifically brought in by the militia for this battle. There have been reports of alluring and enticing recruits from tribal backgrounds and mercenaries with offers exceeding 1.5 billion Sudanese pounds (equivalent to 1400 US dollars). It has also been rumoured that several commanders who participated in the battle lost their lives. At the same time, a militia unit provided cover for the retreat of the battle’s leader, Abdulrahim Daqlo, fearing his injury would undermine the rebels’ leader’s dreams under the army’s assault. Tomorrow, a new chapter begins.

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