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High-ranking RSF commander killed amidst fierce fighting in El Fashe

June 15, 2024

General Ali Yaqoub Gibril, commander of Rapid Support Forces (RSF) operations in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, was killed on Friday during fierce clashes between his forces and the joint forces south of the city.

Gibril, a former tribal militia leader in Central Darfur state, was accused of widespread violations and crimes against the Fur ethnicity before joining the RSF and assuming command of the Central Darfur sector. He played a crucial role in the RSF’s operations in Darfur, where his forces managed to take control of the entire state of Central Darfur and expel the army from the 21st Infantry Division headquarters.

On May 15, the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Gibril and Operations Commander Osman due to the extensive military campaign led by the RSF in El Fasher. Gibril had been assigned the task of leading the RSF forces in the city since last April.

Ahmed Hussein Mustafa, spokesperson for the joint forces, told Sudan Tribune, “The joint forces, the army, and the popular resistance killed the RSF mobile commander, Ali Yaqoub, in a battle on the southern axis of El Fasher.”

He also reported the capture of 17 RSF members, the destruction of six military vehicles, and the seizure of seven others in good condition during the same battle.

A high-ranking military source informed Sudan Tribune that Yaqoub was killed in the Al-Salam neighborhood after a force he led attempted to breach the joint forces’ defenses south of El Fasher. His body was transferred to the Sixth Infantry Division headquarters.

Platforms affiliated with the army published videos showing Gibril’s body surrounded by armed movement fighters.

Minni Minawi, the governor of Darfur, tweeted, “Farewell, commander of the El Fasher inferno.”

After the joint forces repelled the major attack on the southern neighbourhoods of the city, El Fasher witnessed celebrations and massive rallies, despite ongoing heavy artillery shelling by the RSF. Women’s ululations and celebratory gunfire filled the air, marking the death of the RSF commander.

 

(ST)

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