Sudanese warring parties trade blame for damaged dam south of Khartoum

18 November 2023 - 16:00
By Reuters
The RSF is headed by Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemedti. File photo.
Image: REUTERS/Umit Bektas The RSF is headed by Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemedti. File photo.

The Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) blamed each other on Saturday for a strike that damaged a bridge over the Jebel Awlia Dam south of Khartoum, the latest piece of key infrastructure to suffer in a seven-month war.

The extent of the damage was unclear but serious damage to the dam threatened major flooding of the White Nile.

In recent weeks, a bridge in the capital Khartoum and a crucial oil depot were damaged in strikes, for which the two forces also blamed each other.

Fighting has raged in recent days in the Jebel Awlia area, an impoverished district in southern Khartoum state, displacing thousands. The RSF said earlier this month that it had seized an army base in the area.

The local "emergency room" volunteer group said in statements that civilians were killed in raids by the RSF, as well as in the crossfire as the army and RSF traded artillery in the area.

Exact numbers have been hard to get amid damage to telecom networks.

Fighting broke out in Khartoum in April amid tensions between the army and RSF over the integration of their forces during a transition to democracy.

Since then, the RSF has taken control of most of the capital Khartoum on the ground, and has been expanding southward.

Simultaneously it has managed to take control of most of the western Darfur region, with analysts saying it has gained momentum in its efforts to cement control over as much of the country as possible, bolstering its position in ongoing peace talks.