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Sudan Armed Forces Claim Major Advance In Omdurman

After being under siege by RSF forces since April, SAF joins the engineering corps in the southern part of the city.

For the first time since the conflict with the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) started in April of last year, the Sudanese armed forces (SAF) have made progress in Omdurman.

The SAF in the Karari military area, north of Omdurman, have joined their colleagues in the city’s south after being under siege by RSF since April. For the first time since the fight with the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) started in April of last year, the Sudanese armed forces (SAF) have made progress in Omdurman.

The SAF, who have been under siege by the RSF since April, are said to have joined their colleagues in the engineering corps in the southern part of the city, Karari military area, north of Omdurman.

The Sudanese army declared last week that they had made their way inside one of the nation's oldest marketplaces, the Souq Omdurman in Omdurman. Omdurman is regarded as the twin city of Khartoum. It is the capital of Sudan, located on the opposite side of the Nile River.

It was followed by rumours that Iran had provided the SAF with brand-new Mohajer 6 drones in response to army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan’s visit to Tehran. Residents of Ombada, a neighbourhood in the northwest of the city, were given a 72-hour notice to leave their homes one week before the army's march into the area.

Around 100 men were allegedly detained by the SAF, stripped, blindfolded, and beaten before being released. Awad Hakeem, a former mechanic died two nights ago after the ordeal. He was arrested twice and allegedly tortured by the army before his discharge.

One man arrested by the army said, “We were humiliated. We were told that we didn’t have any sense of patriotism while we were beaten. Some of us were in tears.”

The majority of people detained are members of Sudan's minority Gouran ethnic group, who worked in the marketplaces as buyers and sellers of clothing. Similar to the majority of Sudanese cities, Khartoum is segregated based on racial background and ethnicity.

The homes of the Gouran people in north and west Omdurman are allegedly being looted by SAF soldiers, particularly the recent recruits.“They kicked us out, apparently just to loot our houses. I lost everything … they took all my furniture,” said one resident.

The same ethnic community, who were living in eastern Omdurman by the Nile, were told to evacuate their homes by the army at the beginning of August. After their return, a few discovered that the military had taken over their homes, and their possessions had vanished.

The vast majority of Khartoum's 11 million inhabitants have left the city, but millions remain, particularly the impoverished and those from far-off regions like Darfur and Kordofan, where there is fierce conflict.

It has been alleged that the SAF targets other non-Arab populations, mostly from Darfur, who once resided in Wad Madani, a city south of Khartoum, before the RSF captured it in December. It's also been charged with hundreds of arrests and dozens of deaths.

Mohamed el-Badawi, the state's military governor, has called for the intelligence agencies to detain all those who work in markets as beggars on the grounds that they were RSF agents. Most of Sudan's market vendors are from the volatile regions of Darfur and Kordofan, which have witnessed a long civil war.

Since gaining independence in 1956, Sudan has been governed by elites from minority Arab and Nubian tribes who live along the Nile in the country's north. The RSF was established by Sudan's army to conduct a proxy war in Darfur on its behalf. The army has been accused of carrying out a genocide against Darfur's non-Arab groups, killing over a million people and expelling millions more from their homes.

As a result, the first sitting president in history to be accused by the international criminal court in The Hague was Omar al-Bashir, the former president of Sudan and army general.

During the current violence in the region, the RSF is also accused of ethnically cleansing the Masalit people, the majority non-Arab community in West Darfur, killing thousands and displacing hundreds of thousands of people. Since the conflict began, more than 10,000 people have died in Sudan as a result of a power struggle between two generals.

Edited by: Saumya Parija

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