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Battle of Kadugli

Battle of Kadugli
Part of the 2023 Sudan conflict
Date8 June 2023 – present
(8 months and 18 days)
Location
Status Ongoing
Belligerents
Sudanese Armed Forces SPLM-N (al-Hilu faction) Rapid Support Forces
Commanders and leaders
Kafi Tayyar Al-Badeen[1] Abdelaziz al-Hilu[2]
Izzat Koko Angelo[1]
Unknown
Units involved
14th Infantry Division[3]
54th Infantry Brigade[2]
Sudanese Air Force[2]
Al-Badeen's militia[1]
Unknown Unknown

The Battle of Kadugli is an ongoing siege in Kaduqli, South Kordofan State, Sudan, during the 2023 Sudan conflict. It involves two unaligned rebel factions, the SPLM-N (al-Hilu faction) and the Rapid Support Forces, that are trying to capture the city from the Sudanese Armed Forces.

Background

Kaduqli is the capital of South Kordofan, a region which was affected by an insurgency of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement–North (SPLM-N). The fighting was both a spillover of the previous Second Sudanese Civil War as well as ethnically motivated, as the local Nuba people have historically suffered under oppression by northern Sudanese regimes and accordingly supported the SPLM-N. In 2017, the SPLM-N split into two major factions. The rebels in South Kordofan aligned with Abdelaziz al-Hilu, an ethnic Nuba, who opposed compromises with the Sudanese government. Even after the Sudanese Revolution of 2019, al-Hilu opposed the agreements between other SPLM-N factions and the country's new leadership, stating that reforms were a prerequisite to peace.[2]

In 2020, five people were killed in the city by militiamen.[4] In 2023, tensions within the Sudanese government escalated into a civil war between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF).[2]

Battle

By 8 June, the Rapid Support Forces had closed the road between Kadugli and El Obeid depriving the city of supplies.[5] At this point, fighting had spread to the smaller cities in neighboring Darfur.[6] Meanwhile, SPLKM-N (al-Hilu) forces converged on Kadugli[2] The local Sudanese Armed Forces garrison pushed back an RSF attack on one of its bases in the area, as the SPLKM-N forces began besieging the city.[7]

On 21 June, the SPLM-N (al-Hilu) started an assault on the SAF's 54th Infantry Brigade around Kadugli. The military claimed that it had repelled the attack, while the Sudanese Air Force deployed MiGs and Sukhoi aircraft to bomb SPLM-N (al-Hilu) troops and bases around the city. Fighting also began at other towns in the region such as Dalang and al-Dibaybat.[2] On 15 July, both the SPLM-N (al-Hilu) and the RSF launched major attacks around South Kordofan including at Kadugli. However, the two factions do not seem to coordinate or be allied; instead, both exploit each other's operations against their common enemy, the SAF.[2] On 1 August 2023, protests began in Kadugli against the ongoing clashes in the city, with protesters also denouncing the war and the country's violations against women.[8] By mid-August, the SPLM-N had captured ten military bases around Kadugli and was repeatedly attacking the town itself.[9]

By early September, 50,000 civilians had fled the area, as the SPLM-N continued it attempts to capture the city.[10] However, combat in area suddenly ceased around this time. Journalists of Darfur24 subsequently revealed that SPLM-N members were meeting with officers of the 14th Infantry Division in and around Kadugli,[3][11] attempting to mediate an end of combat. However, the talks failed and the battle resumed.[11] SPLM-N chief of staff Izzat Koko Angelo reportedly also sent a letter to Brigadier General Kafi Tayyar Al-Badeen, calling on him to defect. Al-Badeen led a South Kordofan militia in the area of Kadugli, fighting alongside the Sudanese Army. The commander publicly declared his loyalty to the military, stating that the letter was designed to sow discord.[1]

On 27 September, the SPLM-N began a new attack on Kadugli, invading the city's Jabal Hajar al-Mak Rahal and Daraja Altalta neighbourhoods while launching artillery strikes using Katyusha rocket launchers. The assault was repelled by the local garrison,[1] but the rebels attacked again on the next day, this time targeting the Jabal Hajar al-Mak Rahal and Talo neighbourhoods.[11] In October, fighting between the SAF and SPLM-N continued between Kadugli and Dalang, concentrated at the villages of al-Takama, El Faragil, and Karkaria. Clashes also took place at Damba, west of Kadugli.[12]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "Sudanese army repels SPLM-N's fresh attack on Kadugli". Sudan Tribune. 27 September 2023. Retrieved 15 October 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h McGregor 2023.
  3. ^ a b "Sudanese military commanders meet with SPLM's Alhilu officers in Kadugli". Darfur24. 22 September 2023. Retrieved 15 October 2023.
  4. ^ Dabanga (2020-05-15). "Sudan: Five killed in attack on Kadugli neighbourhood". Dabanga Radio TV Online. Retrieved 2023-06-19.
  5. ^ "Rebel mobilisation in southern Sudan raises fears of conflict spreading". Reuters. 2023-06-08. Retrieved 2023-06-19.
  6. ^ Eltahir, Nafisa; Abdelaziz, Khalid; Eltahir, Nafisa (2023-06-15). "Sudan war hits two-month mark as peace efforts hit hurdles". Reuters. Retrieved 2023-06-19.
  7. ^ "Sudan's western cities under fire as war spreads". Reuters. 2023-06-14. Retrieved 2023-06-19.
  8. ^ Camille (2023-07-31). "Marches as SPLM-N El Hilu and army clash in South Kordofan". Dabanga Radio TV Online. Retrieved 2023-08-02.
  9. ^ Zeinab Mohammed Salih (20 August 2023). "Thousands flee homes after rebel attack in southern Sudan city". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 September 2023.
  10. ^ "More than 50,000 displaced as families run out of food supplies in Kadugli: agency". Sudan Tribune. 2 September 2023. Retrieved 5 September 2023.
  11. ^ a b c "Clashes continue in Kadugli between the army and SPLM's Al-Hilu". Darfur24. 28 September 2023. Retrieved 15 October 2023.
  12. ^ "Sudan: RSF Expands Territorial Control as Ceasefire Talks Resume in Jeddah". ACLED. 3 November 2023. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
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Battle of Kadugli
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