Radio Dabanga was informed that on Wednesday 5 September, border guards attacked a Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) garrison in Nyala, South Darfur. Sources say border guards wanted to free one of their members who they claim to be detained at the garrison. There are no reports of injuries at this moment.
Eye witnesses told Radio Dabanga that border guards, driving 15 Land Cruisers carrying dushkas and other weapons, stormed Nyala at around 12:30pm on Wednesday. They said seven Land Cruisers entered the SAF garrison base (16), which is located near the main market and the General Secretariat of the Government of South Darfur.
Residents who were shopping at the city's main market at the moment of the attack, told Radio Dabanga they all fled in fear. They added that now shops, banks, private offices and the market are closed.
According to witnesses, border guards threatened to shoot the head of the SAF garrison base (16) if their colleague was not released. They said the head of the base ordered his soldiers to shoot the border guards if they did not surrender and that the SAF used their tanks and vehicles to seal off the streets leading to the base. Radio Dabanga was informed that after two hours of negotiations border guards surrendered and all 15 vehicles left the city.
Reasons for the attack
Two sources suggested different theories to explain the reason for the attack in Nyala.
An official authority who does not want to be named, told Radio Dabanga that the border guard member held at the base was arrested by the SAF at the Nyala airport. According to him, the man was prevented from boarding a flight from Nyala to Khartoum recently, as he was carrying a pistol.
The source explained the border guard was given the option to hand in his pistol to airport security authorities in Nyala and retrieve it once in Khartoum, which he refused. Still, the source continued, the man tried to force his entrance at the airport and was arrested by the SAF and brought to their base (16). He believes this led his colleagues to attack the SAF base to free him.
Another person suggested the attackers were trying to free several border guards being kept at the SAF base in Nyala. He said these border guards were arrested by the security services and brought to the SAF base (16). He explained these men were accused of stealing UNAMID's salaries in the beginning of August (despite UNAMID's denial). The source added that other border guards are kept in the base because they are accused of looting a petrol station in Nyala and stealing 60 million Sudanese pounds.
Citizens from Nyala said they consider border guards a threat to security and suggested they are behind the violent events that took place in the region. They demanded the federal government to dissolve and expel border guards from the city. However, they said, if this does not happen the government should stop border guards from carrying out attacks and bring perpetrators to justice.