RSF Advisor Denies Accusations of Seeking to Create New State in Western Sudan

Tensions escalate in Darfur as RSF and Sudanese army clash, raising fears of ethnic violence and regional spillover. Advisor denies RSF plans for new state, but conflict threatens to further destabilize the volatile region.

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Shivani Chauhan
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RSF Advisor Denies Accusations of Seeking to Create New State in Western Sudan

RSF Advisor Denies Accusations of Seeking to Create New State in Western Sudan

An advisor to the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has rejected claims made by Darfur State governor Minni Arko Minawi that the paramilitary group is planning to establish a new state in western Sudan. Minawi alleged on social media that the RSF's recent territorial expansion in Darfur, including an attack on the town of Mellit north of the regional capital El Fasher, is part of a strategy to encircle El Fasher and restrict humanitarian aid in order to pressure residents into accepting the RSF's presence.

The RSF, led by General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, currently controls most of the Darfur region after defeating local armed groups. The paramilitary force has clashed with the Sudanese army and allied sedentary tribal armed movements in North Darfur in recent weeks. The Joint Force of Armed Struggle Movements, a coalition of non-Arab armed groups, has dropped its neutrality to support the army against the RSF in the conflict.

Why this matters: The escalating violence between the RSF and Sudanese army in Darfur threatens to further destabilize the volatile region and risks drawing in tribal actors on both sides. There are concerns that the conflict could lead to ethnic killings in the volatile region, as the Zaghawa tribe, which extends into neighboring Chad, has become involved in the fighting.

The aerial attacks conducted by the Sudanese army on RSF positions have also resulted in civilian casualties, according to local activists. The involvement of Chadian fighters, due to the cross-border ties of the Zaghawa tribe, has raised fears that the tribal conflict in North Darfur could spill over into Chad.

The RSF advisor's denial of Minawi's accusations comes amidst the escalating violence and shifting alliances in Darfur. The conflict between the RSF and the Sudanese army, with various tribal armed groups aligning with each side, has led to a precarious situation for civilians caught in the crossfire. The potential for the fighting to escalate along ethnic lines and draw in regional actors underscores the urgent need for a peaceful resolution to the crisis in western Sudan.

Key Takeaways

  • Darfur governor accuses RSF of planning to establish new state in western Sudan.
  • RSF controls most of Darfur, clashing with Sudanese army and tribal armed groups.
  • Conflict threatens to destabilize Darfur, risking ethnic killings and regional spillover.
  • Sudanese army airstrikes on RSF positions have resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Escalating violence and shifting alliances underscore need for peaceful resolution in Darfur.