Sudan’s RSF claims it has captured a key city in the southeast

Paramilitary forces battling Sudan’s army for more than a year say they have captured a key state capital in the war-torn country’s southeast.

“We have liberated the 17th Infantry Division from Singa [the capital of Sennar state],” the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) announced on X on Saturday.

Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan, reporting from the capital Khartoum, said the RSF is gaining control of an increasing number of territories across Sudan, especially in eastern and western parts of the country’s south.

“They already control a large portion of the Darfur region, with the exception of el-Fasher, which is the only remaining city under the army’s and allied groups’ control,” she said.

Morgan said the Sudanese army does not dispute the RSF’s statement that it has taken control of the 17th Infantry Division.

“However, they say their forces are still present in the city and they are still fighting,” she said. “What we can definitely confirm is civilians have witnessed clashes and many of them have started leaving the city since yesterday [Saturday] and more people are leaving the city this [Sunday] morning.”

Millions displaced

Sudan has been gripped by war since April 2023, when fighting erupted between forces loyal to army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the RSF led by his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.

The conflict in the country of 48 million has killed tens of thousands, displaced millions and triggered one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.