May 24, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) has maintained its silence on reports a senior commander from the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) was killed on Saturday in Daldako area, east of the South Kordofan state capital of Kadugli.
- Undated portrait of Colonel Hussein Jabr al-Dar, a commander from the Rapid Support Forces
High-level sources told Sudan Tribune earlier that Col. Hussein Jabr al-Dar’s death occurred during heavy clashes with the rebel Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) in Daldako area.
Attempts to reach SAF spokesperson al-Sawarmi Khalid Sa’ad by phone were unsuccessful.
Last week the Sudanese army announced that it had recaptured Daldako area from the SPLM-N.
Daldako which is 12km away from Um-Sordoba area, is a strategic town and is considered the SPLM-N’s second largest strongholds.
The sources said that a shrapnel of a rocket-propelled grenade hit the commander’s vehicle, killing him along with several other soldiers.
Jabr al-Dar, who hails from South Kordofan state, was a member of the Republican Guard forces in Khartoum.
Several pro-government websites have officially mourned him, noting that he fought in the battle of the recapture of Heglig area from South Sudan’s army in 2012.
According to the same sources, the SPLM-N attacked Daldako area at 10am (local time) on Saturday in an attempt to retake it from the Sudanese army.
It also said the Sudanese army built heavy defenses around Daldako and reinforced its troops, pointing that 300 military vehicles loaded with soldiers left Kadugli in order to strengthen the security presence in Daldako and move towards the SPLM-N stronghold of Kauda.
Sudan’s defence minister, Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein, who paid a visit to front-line troops deployed in Nuba Mountains, told reporters in Kadugli on Friday that the army finalised preparations to launch the second phase of the decisive summer campaign, stressing that the upcoming operations will include new areas.
“Despite the progress achieved towards its goals, the armed forces are at the same time keen to stop the bleeding of blood among Sudanese,” he said, adding that “the next round of negotiations is a chance to make significant progress toward ending the war, if the other party wished”.
Hussein also said the military operations, which involve controversial Arab militiamen of the RSF, do not target a tribe or an ethnic group but are directed against those who threaten the national security.
The RSF militia, which is widely known as the Janjaweed militias, were originally mobilised by the Sudanese government to quell the insurgency that broke out in Sudan’s western region of Darfur in 2003.
The militia was activated and restructured again in August last year under the command of National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) to fight rebel groups in Darfur region, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states following joint attacks by Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebels in North and South Kordofan in April 2013.
Sudanese officials say the RSF is part of the NISS but operationally follow the army.