Update: Army besieges Border Guards in North Darfur’s El Fasher

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EL FASHER(20 May.) -

An army officer and at least three soldiers were killed in the violent clashes that broke out in El Jebel district in the eastern part of El Fasher between the Border Guards and joint security forces troops on Monday evening. The fighting resumed this morning.

“The paramilitary Border Guards, consisting of Janjaweed fighters, terrorised the population of North Darfur’s capital, a resident of El Fasher told Radio Dabanga. “Most of them settled in El Jebel district, near El Bursa, which you could call their headquarters. There they clashed with troops of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) Joint Operations Room. The fighting that erupted on Monday evening was severe, and continued until 11pm. On Tuesday morning, the shooting resumed.”

The fighting on Monday resulted in the death of one soldier and one conbattant of the Border Guards. Another Border Guard fighter was taken prisoner.

“On Tuesday at about 7am a heavy SAF force with tanks surrounded the El Jebel neighbourhood, another witness told Radio Dabanga from the area. Fighting resumed for two hours, resulting in the death of a Captain, a First Lieutenant, and a number of soldiers. A woman, a girl, and an infant were killed by stray bullets. A number of the Border Guards managed to flee from Hai El Jebel, the witness added.

Another resident of the district reported that he saw about nine bodies of militiamen in the streets. “The army and joint security forces are still besieging the place,” he told Radio Dabanga in the afternoon.

Armed group

After an emergency meeting this morning, North Darfur State Governor Osman Kibir told the press that three of the armed forces were killed, including an officer with the rank of Captain, as well as three citizens. Two of the citizens died in a traffic accident during the fighting. The third is a ten-year-old child, Kibir explained, who was hit by a stray bullet.

The Governor said that the clashes erupted between joint government forces securing El Fasher and an unnamed armed group in the area of El Bursa. “The armed group intended to create trouble, and shake the security in the city.”

Kibir thanked the regular forces for their efforts to keep El Fasher safe and secure. “The members of the armed group who were living in El Fasher and terrorising the citizens, are now searching for a way out of the city.”

"A large package of security measures may be agreed on during the next meeting of the Security Committee of the state,"he announced. “I reassure the citizens of El Fasher, in particular in the eastern parts of the city, that they will be able to live a normal life again.”