West Kordofan ‘tripartite truce’ violated after less than a day

Air strikes targeted the 22nd Infantry Division quarters in Babanusa, West Kordofan, triggering widespread anger and condemnation from residents. This incident violated a tripartite agreement signed just a day earlier between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), and the Native Administration.

The 22nd Infantry Division in Babanusa, West Kordofan, was hit by two shells on Thursday morning. One division member sustained light injuries from the bombing, with no other casualties reported.

A tripartite truce signed by the warring parties and the Native Administration* in Babanusa, which came into effect on Wednesday, stipulated that parties “commit to halt escalation, prohibit SAF aircraft, and prevent RSF entry into the town”, Babanusa mayor Khareef told Radio Dabanga on Thursday.

Residents were outraged at the ‘blatant violation’ of the agreement, which they accused the SAF of committing. Khareef said that most residents fled to find safer areas, continuing a mass outflux from Babanusa since rumours of an imminent attack emerged last week. The mayor asserted that it was not possible to identify the responsible party, “given the lack explanation from the regional SAF command”.

Regarding communication with the RSF, Khareef stated: “Following a meeting with the 22nd Division leadership, contacts were established to meet with RSF’s second commander Maj Gen Abdelrahim Dagalo, who assured us that Babanusa and other West Kordofan areas would not be subjected to RSF targeting.”

Addressing the humanitarian situation, the Omda said that people were “out in the open” in harsh weather conditions, residents were urged to return after the region experienced relative calm post-bombing, he added. “We are broadcasting continuous calls for return through mosque loudspeakers.”

* The Native Administration was instituted by British colonial authorities seeking a pragmatic system of governance that allowed for effective control with limited oversight by the state. The state-appointed tribal leaders were also responsible for executing policies, collecting taxes, and mobilising labour on behalf of the central government. According to the Darfur Bar Association (DBA), the Native Administration during the 30-year rule of dictator Omar Al Bashir did not represent the real community leaders.

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