Sudan Conflict.. Paramilitary Forces Capture Strategic Capital of West Kordofan

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The paramilitary forces led by General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, continued their advance. On June 20th, 2024, they seized control of el-Fula, the capital of West Kordofan, after taking much of Darfur. The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) swiftly occupied key buildings, including the army headquarters and the provincial government offices.

The army of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan withdrew from el-Fula after a few hours of clashes early Thursday morning, leaving the city to the RSF. Following their victory, the RSF installed a new governor for West Kordofan, one of Sudan’s 18 states, signaling their intent to assert administrative control over the region as they have done in Darfur. The paramilitaries now control all the capitals of Darfur’s four states, except el-Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, which remains contested after more than a month of fighting.

El-Fula’s capture is both symbolic and strategic. The RSF can now claim control over another state, bolstering their assertion that they are winning the war. Moreover, West Kordofan is home to Abyei, a disputed territory with the region’s largest concentration of oil fields.

The conflict, which began on April 15th, 2023, pits the army, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, against paramilitary forces loyal to his former deputy, General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo. The war has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and displaced over nine million people, according to the United Nations.

“The Sudanese crisis is one of the worst the world has seen in decades, and the humanitarian response is woefully inadequate,” said Christos Christou, International President of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), on X. “There are extreme levels of suffering across the country, and the needs are growing daily,” he added.


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