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Sudanese women wait in line for aid from the Red Cross on the outskirts of Adré, Chad, after fleeing El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur State in Sudan (File photo - Reuters)  

 

Clashes between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have escalated in strategic areas. The army reported advances in Omdurman two days ago, but the RSF claimed to have seized the key town of Al-Meiram near the South Sudan border.

Al-Meiram, located 40 kilometers from South Sudan in West Kordofan, used to be part of the railway link between Sudan and South Sudan before their split in 2011. The town, rich in natural resources and near oil fields, is now a crucial border area.

Its significance comes from being a major trade route, supplying food to East Darfur and parts of Kordofan, especially during the rainy season. Al-Meiram is connected by a dirt road to the oil town of Muglad.

Controlling Al-Meiram provides access to border trade routes and significant geographic advantages due to its closeness to South Sudan and the resource-rich savannah.

On Wednesday, the Sudanese army reported repelling an RSF attack on Al-Meiram. Army spokesperson Brig. Gen. Nabil Abdullah said: “The armed forces thwarted a treacherous attack by the Al-Dagalo militia on Al-Meiram.”

The RSF claimed to have killed 200 army personnel, including two officers, and captured 22 combat vehicles, six tanks, various mortars, and a large cache of weapons and ammunition after the army retreated.

The RSF described its takeover of Al-Meiram as part of their “continuous victories” and framed it as a step towards ending "years of oppression" and building a new, fair Sudan.

This week, the RSF shocked observers by capturing several strategic locations in Sennar State. It seized the headquarters of the 17th Division in Sennar city, along with the 67th and 165th Infantry Brigades.

Troops from the 66th Infantry Brigade in Al-Mazmum withdrew before the RSF arrived.

Videos showed civilians mocking the retreating soldiers and claiming to guard the brigade’s headquarters.

The RSF advanced in both directions, taking key areas in Sennar and moving close to the Blue Nile and Gedaref States. It have besieged Sennar city and threatened the Dinder region in Gedaref.

Both the army and RSF claim control of a vital bridge linking Sennar and Gedaref.

Source: https://english.aawsat.com/arab-world/5037269-rsf-seizes-strategic-area-near-south-sudan-border