Nyala has seen waves of heavy fighting, with air and artillery shelling killing dozens, destroying civilian homes and disrupting basic services, while at least 670,000 South Darfur residents have been displaced from their homes, according to Reuters.
During the course of the clashes between the army and the RSF, parts of the city were disrupted by the fighting, and its large market stopped operating, along with most hospitals.
The official authorities do not have estimates on the number of victims, due to the difficulty of accessing the bodies, which were on the battlefield that took place in the vicinity of the command of the 16th Division and adjacent residential neighborhoods such as “Al-Jir” and “Al-Nahda”.
The remaining Nyala residents, most of whom were displaced from the city, saw a new reality after trying to go out to investigate the situation and see the destruction of the city as a result of the months-long clashes.
A resident of Nyala told Al-Sharq that “all residents of Al-Nahda, Al-Jir and other neighborhoods close to the command of the 16th Division are in a state of panic and fear of the Rapid Support Forces after it took control of the entire city.”
“A number of the city’s youth were arrested under the pretext of cooperating with army intelligence, or on charges of digging barricades at the entrances to neighbourhoods to prevent the rapid support advance,” he said.
“These barricades were to prevent thieves and unruly people from penetrating our neighborhoods and stealing them,” the source said, pointing out that “there are pillars of rapid support currently in all parts of the city, where identities and destinations are checked.”
“The displacement continues outside the city, with the help of the joint forces of the armed movements or individually,” Ali said, but added: “There are many Nyala residents who are there, either for fear of leaving or for lack of financial means.”
Another resident of Nyala described the situation as “difficult during the first two days after the army left,” and said: “The city witnessed widespread looting, but the situation changed and is moving towards calm, and people began to return to their activities, and I have information that there is an attempt to operate the Nyala Teaching Hospital with the participation of a group of doctors in the city to receive patients and wounded.”
After entering the headquarters of the 16th Division, the Rapid Support Forces quickly called on citizens not to panic and return to their normal lives, by addressing the commander of the second rapid forces, Abdul Rahim Dagalo, who was leading the battles, and mobilized, according to eyewitnesses, tribal groups supporting the rapid support in the region.
The capture of the capital of South Darfur state in western Sudan could mark a turning point in the nearly seven-month-old war and comes as Sudan’s military and RSF are due to resume negotiations in the Saudi city of Jeddah.
Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state, is the second largest city in the country after Khartoum, about a thousand kilometers away, and roads intersect from eastern, western and northern Darfur.
South Darfur state also has land borders with South Sudan and Central African Republic, which increases the importance of the city, which has an airport, as well as its strategic location in land transport between the cities of the state and the rest of the sprawling Darfur region.