Eighteen Sudanese soldiers killed in ambush by Chadian group in Darfur, government says

Deputy chairman of Sudan's Sovereign Council pledges action to stop similar attacks

An internally displaced Sudanese family in Darfur, Sudan. Reuters
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A group of armed Chadian men killed 18 Sudanese servicemembers on Friday during an ambush in the restive Darfur region, official statements said.

The 18 Sudanese belonged to a contingent made up of army troops, policemen and members of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) that was tracking cattle robbers in central Darfur, two separate statements from the Interior Ministry and the military-led Sovereign Council said.

The ambush took place late on Thursday, they added, without providing any details on the perpetrators.

The deputy head of Sudan's Sovereign Council and commander of the RSF, Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, led mourners in a Friday funeral service for the fallen soldiers.

He urged local residents to exercise self-restraint and not to take the law into their own hands, pledging that authorities will do what is necessary to prevent a repeat of such attacks.

The porous border between Sudan and Chad has for decades been virtually lawless, with armed groups roaming the area stealing cattle and robbing commercial convoys.

Gen Dagalo has been in Darfur for weeks seeking an end to deadly feuds between the vast region’s ethnic groups after hundreds were killed and tens of thousands displaced in recent months.

Tribal and ethnic feuds in Darfur are almost exclusively about land, pastures and water.

The region was the site of a devastating civil war in the 2000s, when rebel groups took up arms against the government of now-ousted dictator Omar Al Bashir to demand a bigger share of national resources and an end to the monopoly on power by northern Sudanese.

The war left 300,000 people dead and displaced 2.5 million.

Updated: August 05, 2022, 6:05 PM