Fierce fighting between opposition rebel groups and the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) in North Darfur resumed on Sunday, according to statements issued by both sides.
In a statement issued by the Sudan Liberation Army, under the Minawi leadership (SLA-MM), and the Transitional council (SLM-TC), the rebel factions said they had responded to an attack by Sudanese government forces against their position in Ain Siro and the mountain range northwest of Kutum.
The statement claims that the SLA repelled the attack and destroyed 13 armoured vehicles belonging to the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), an elite branch of the Sudanese Army.
The RSF announced yesterday that its forces had defeated rebels in North Darfur which RSF claimed had entered Sudan through the Chadian border. The official RSF spokesmen, Adam Saleh, told the Sudanese News Agency (SUNA): “We inflicted heavy losses and seized and destroyed a large number of military vehicles.”
RSF said the recent attacks in Darfur were an attempt by rebel forces to regroup and reposition their fighters in the mountain area of Jebel Marra. On 19 May, SLA fighters entered the western Darfur region of Sudan from Libya and South Sudan. In a report published in the Sudan Tribune, RSF claimed that the operation by rebels was part of an attack to recapture Jebel Marra and use it as a base to launch military operations against the Sudanese government.
Last week, Sudan’s President, Omar Al-Bashir, accused Egypt of supplying the weapons and armour vehicles used by the rebels in Darfur. Al-Bashir claims that Sudan had captured armour vehicles supplied by Cairo. However, Egypt’s President, Abdel-Fatah Al-Sisi rejected the claims saying Egypt does not interfere in the internal affairs of any country, especially Sudan.
The Sudanese army has been fighting three armed groups in Darfur: the Justice and Equality Movement, the Sudan Liberation Movement and the Sudan Liberation Army.