Omdurman calmer after days of heavy fighting
SAF pauses offensive aimed at capturing Shambat Bridge
Most parts of Sudan’s capital region were calm today, after three days of heavy fighting in the ‘Old Omdurman’ neighborhoods, including Wad Nubawi, Mohandiseen, the Popular Market, and Al Sharafia, where the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) carried out an offensive.
The objectives of the SAF offensive are capturing the Shambat Bridge and relieving the siege of Mohandiseen, which are both in the same general direction. The main axis of attack for the army is southward from Karari, while the besieged forces in Mohandiseen are carrying out simultaneous supporting attacks.
If the RSF lose that bridge, their forces in Omdurman will be separated from those in Bahri and Khartoum, and they will be unable to reinforce each other—hence the fierceness of the fighting in the area.
Despite claims by some observers that the army is on the brink of a decisive victory, we haven’t seen evidence yet that the offensive made substantial progress. The Sudan Armed Forces need to advance only about 3 km to reach Shambat Bridge, but in house-to-house fighting 3 km can be a long distance and each block can take a long time to capture. This is why the battle is unlikely to end any time soon, unless SAF are unable to sustain the offensive for whatever reason.
The army’s key constraint in sustaining an offensive in central Omdurman is that they simultaneously have to defend a long right flank, extending north toward Wadi Saidna Airbase. The RSF control Ombada and parts of western Omdurman, enabling them to attack SAF along a long front. The lines of control are less clear there than in the old city, and more difficult to map. The vastness of this area and the lack of fixed defensive positions are factors that favor the RSF, which has generally performed better in maneuver situations.
Unofficial RSF sources claimed that the RSF carried out attacks toward Wadi Saidna on Monday. Although this is unconfirmed, it does highlight that the RSF strategy in Omdurman, apart from defending the Old Omdurman neighborhoods tenaciously, is attempting to outflank the SAF to the west and carry the war into northern Omdurman neighborhoods that are hitherto unaffected. Heavy artillery fire was also heard from the direction of Wadi Saidna this evening.
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In the meantime, the Sudanese army appears to be increasingly willing to use heavy artillery to make ground toward Shambat Bridge, and has ordered civilians to evacuate. In the below video, the person filming said he spoke to residents fleeing Al Gama'ir after the army told them to leave.
Both sides issued official statements about the fighting, with the Sudanese army claiming they inflicted heavy losses on the RSF including combat vehicles, and they took control of a “headquarters” of the militia in the Doha neighborhood. This statement may refer to the Public Services Complex, at the eastern edge of that neighborhood next to Abu Anga Hospital, which is visible in some videos of SAF fighters yesterday. However, this area is not really within the heart of RSF-controlled Omdurman, but was marked ‘contested’ in our previous attempts at mapping the area.
A statement by the Sudanese army said that its forces "inflicted on the RSF hundreds of deaths and injuries in the battles of Omdurman, and combed several neighborhoods in the city,” noting that its forces “completed their planned tasks successfully.” SAF acknowledged that six intelligence officers were killed in the fighting—a likely reference to the NISS Operations Authority forces in Karari.
On the other hand, the RSF also claimed victory over SAF “on many axes in Omdurman,” saying in an official press statement,
The RSF successfully engaged and neutralized the SAF and its backers from the former regime, inflicting significant casualties. Preliminary reports indicate 174 killed and more than 300 wounded in action. The injured were evacuated to Al-Nau Hospital in Omdurman. An additional 83 detainees were taken into custody, the majority of whom were identified as members of the Popular Defense Brigades and the Mujaheddin.
The SAF and its allied militias attempted to attack RSF positions by infiltrating through the neighborhoods of Al-Thawrat and Wad Nubawi, the Popular Market Omdurman, and Al Mohandiseen area. Our brave soldiers were fully alert and ready and repelled the SAF and its supporters, who fled, leaving behind their wounded, dead bodies, equipment, and vehicles, which are now being inventoried.
RSF also issued a second statement saying that “SAF and its allied militias linked to the former regime have occupied Al Nau Hospital in Omdurman, converting it into a military barracks to tend to their wounded soldiers.”
The Omdurman Emergency Rooms issued a statement denying the RSF claim that Al Nau Hospital was converted into an army barracks. They called for the two sides not to attack volunteers and blood donors traveling to and from the hospital
Geolocated conflict videos
We geolocated several video clips to the Banat Sharq neighborhood, where fighting took place on the south side of Khor Abu Anga. The above video (15.630263, 32.473905) shows a force that attacked north from Corps of Engineers, consolidating SAF control up to the creek, which forms a natural boundary between SAF and RSF.
SAF also published videos of their forces elsewhere in the Banat Sharq neighborhood, including at another crossing of Khor Abu Anga, firing into Al Mawrada (15.63033, 32.48047). However, the RSF counterattacked across the creek shortly thereafter. RSF videos from this location show seven bodies, at least five of which are SAF (the other two are not clearly visible), and one severely wounded army soldier.
The RSF videos showed that they were in control of the southern side of the creek. Heavy small arms fire was still heard when these were recorded.
There were fewer conflict videos from the more important northern sector, but one such video showed RSF with a captured technical in Wad Nubawi.
Bombings and shelling
Although the fighting in these areas should come as a surprise to no one, there were nonetheless civilian casualties, either because the civilians were not told to evacuate, or they decided not to, or they had nowhere to go. A Sudanese medical source told Al-Jazeera that the Al Nau Hospital in northern Omdurman received yesterday, Tuesday dozens of dead and wounded civilians and military personnel.
The source stated that the clashes also prevented many injured civilians in Abu Rouf, Wad Nubawi, Sharafiya and Gama'ir neighborhoods from reaching the hospital.
Al Jazeera also reported aerial attacks in Khartoum. “Army warplanes bombed Rapid Support sites around Sports City, south of Khartoum. Local sources told Al-Jazeera that the army directed successive artillery shelling targeting RSF sites in the neighborhoods of Burri, Al-Manshiya, Al-Mamoura, and Al-Riyadh.”
The Alsharfiea ResistanceCommittees in Omdurman reveal that seven residents of the neighborhood were killed and others were injured during the battles between the army and the Rapid Support Forces
Overview of the situation in Nyala
The independent news outlet 'Ayin published Wednesday a report on the situation in 'Ayin, which includes some details about the military situation.
Youssef Mohamed, a community activist from Nyala, said, “Every day the security situation in the city deteriorates further. There were no direct confrontations between the army and the RSF in a large way, but there is continuous and mutual artillery shelling between the belligerents, and the projectiles stray into the homes of the citizens. Dozens of civilians died as a result of the indiscriminate shelling.”
Sources told 'Ayin that the army controls the middle of Nyala city, which includes its army headquarters, the central market, the banking complex, and the state government secretariat and the ministries.
“It also controls the only bridge in the city from two sides and concentrates its deployment on the perimeter of the 16th Infantry Division command. For its part, the Rapid Support Forces control the city's crossings from all directions and are deployed in the northeastern part of Nyala, they also control the electricity distribution control center next to the popular market, south of Nyala.”
There was fighting in Zalingei from Sunday through Tuesday days, and among the dead was SAF Lt Col Assad Abbas Sissi, a nephew of former Darfur Regional Authority Chair Tijani Sissi, according to relatives.
A group of 120-150 students at a dormitory in Al Obeid were harassed by security forces accusing them of being loyal to the RSF, according to Radio Dabanga.