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VIOLENT FIGHTING BY THE RSF CONTINUES IN DARFUR AND ADF REBELS LAUNCH A NIGHTTIME ATTACK IN DRC

November 9-15, 2023 | Issue 40 - CENTCOM/AFRICOM

Lucrezia Taddei, Giorgia Cito, Meaghan Mackey

Brantley Williams Editor; Radhika Ramalinga Venkatachalam, Senior Editor


Map of Darfur[1]


Date: November 9, 2023

Location: Darfur Region, Sudan

Parties involved: Sudanese government; Sudanese army; Sudanese civilians; Sudanese refugees; Sudanese paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF); extremist groups in Sudan; non-Arab ethnic minority group, Massalit; US Embassy based in Khartoum; UN; Chad

The event: Clashes occurred in El-Facher, the capital of North Darfur, between the Sudanese army and the RSF. The UN and the US Embassy in Khartoum raised concern over the RSF's human rights breaches, including the killing of civilians throughout Darfur, in the Ardmata region west of Darfur. These attacks mainly focused on the Massalit ethnic group. The UN acknowledges the rising number of refugees fleeing South Sudan's war, with more than 366,000 Sudanese people crossing the border since April 15. This is due to worsening safety circumstances and a shortage of basic necessities such as food and water.[2] Analysis & Implications:

  • The involvement of the RSF in Darfur's conflict will very likely exacerbate local violence and strain Sudan's military resources. The RSF's actions will very likely attract international sanctions or interventions, such as economic sanctions against key RSF leaders. These measures will likely influence Sudan's internal security and diplomatic relations, weakening the RSF's influence and control and likely leading to shifts in power dynamics and increased internal conflicts.

  • The conflict in Sudan will likely weaken political structures, likely creating opportunities for extremist groups to gain from the ensuing instability. This situation will likely pose significant national and regional security risks, with extremist groups likely exploiting the power vacuums created by the conflict. These extremist groups will likely utilize the situation of economic hardship and social unrest to recruit individuals, likely promising stability and income.

  • The increasing refugee problem and humanitarian crisis will likely lead to regional destabilization in neighboring countries like Chad. High numbers of Sudanese refugees will very likely seek refuge in Chad through the country's open borders policy, likely causing socio-economic issues as resources become strained. Chad will very likely experience humanitarian issues such as food insecurity and inadequate shelter, likely resulting in the need for increased humanitarian assistance and foreign aid.


Date: November 12, 2023

Location: Kitshanga Village, North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo

Parties involved: The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC); DRC civilians; the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO); international non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch; Islamist rebel group Allied Democratic Forces (ADF); Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels; internally displaced persons (IDPs); Uganda

The event: ADF rebels launched a nighttime attack on Kitshanga, a village in the Watlinga chiefdom of the Beni territory, North Kivu. The attack is part of a series of ongoing conflicts in the region, and the rebels used a door-to-door strategy with knives to kill occupants in targeted houses. The FARDC's response included a search and rescue operation, which resulted in the liberation of hostages, including an infant.[3]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The ADF's use of nighttime and low-tech tactics will likely necessitate a reassessment of current security strategies by defense forces. To adapt to the evolving threat landscape, the defense forces will likely enhance community engagement and intelligence methods. There is a roughly even chance that this attack will encourage the placement of more security forces in the region, likely overextending their resources.

  • An increased military presence in the region in response to the attack will likely have broadened political and social repercussions, increasing tensions among citizens in the area. The kidnapping of civilians, including a FARDC soldier, will likely exacerbate tensions between the military and the local population and likely lead to reprisals. This situation will likely lead to more military operations to counter the rebellion, which will likely impact civilian-military relations and attract attention among human rights organizations, such as Human Rights Watch to the tactics of the FARDC.

  • The attack will very likely intensify the humanitarian crisis in the conflict-struck region, likely inviting intervention from international organizations. The attack will likely increase the number of IDPs leaving the area, with MONUSCO likely intervening to protect them. The displacement and instability will likely impact neighboring countries such as Uganda due to the rise in demand for resources and infrastructure.

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[1]Map of Darfur” by Lucrezia Taddei via Google Maps

[2] Sudan: corpses in the streets of Omdourman, violent fighting in Darfur, AfricaNews, November 2023, https://www.africanews.com/2023/11/10/sudan-corpses-in-the-streets-of-omdourman-violent-fighting-in-darfur/

[3] DRC: at least 11 dead after an attack by the ADF rebels in Beni (Army), Radio Okapi, November 2023, https://www.radiookapi.net/2023/11/13/actualite/securite/rdc-au-moins-11-morts-apres-une-attaque-des-rebelles-adf-beni-armee (Translated by Google)

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