Sudan in panic as paramilitaries move South

2023-12-26 07:52:39
Sudan in panic as paramilitaries move South

On a countryside road in battle-ravaged Sudan, the hum of a passing vehicle turns villagers’ blood cold, fearing the arrival of paramilitaries plundering their way south in their war against the army.

The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have looted everything: cars, lorries and tractors, laments a resident of a village in the state of al-Jazira, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals from the paramilitaries as they push southwards in war-torn Sudan.

The villagers of al-Jazira hold their breath every time they hear the roar of a car or motorbike engine, so fearful are they of the dreaded RSF paramilitaries.

"On Saturday, seven individuals armed with machine guns and wearing FSR uniforms knocked on my door", Abdine said, declining to reveal his surname for security reasons.

They asked him about the car parked in his garage before "taking it away with their weapons pointed at us", said a distressed resident of Hasaheisa, a town 50 kilometers north of the capital of Al-Jazeera, Wad Madani.

The bloody war that has pitted the Sudanese army against the RSF paramilitaries in Khartoum for the past eight months has forced half a million people to seek refuge further south, in this agricultural state that was until recently spared the violence.

Recently, however, the paramilitaries, who control most of the capital, have been advancing along the motorway linking the capital to Wad Madani, taking village after village and terrorizing its inhabitants.

On 15 December, they attacked Wad Madani, forcing more than 300,000 people to flee again, within the state of Al-Jazira but also towards the neighboring states of Sennar and Gedaref, according to the UN.

Since then, the paramilitaries have continued their relentless descent southwards.

On Saturday, they were spotted "15 kilometers north of Sennar", 140 kilometers south of Wad Madani, witnesses told AFP.

(Source: Agencies)

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