The armed rebel movements acknowledged today that they have lost Fanaga area in East Jebel Marra to the Sudanese army and the paramilitary forces after heavy battles on Thursday. Multiple sources in the area in North Darfur have confirmed this. Sudan marks a large victory in the country’s ‘decisive dry season operation’ against the rebellion, which it announced last month.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga, residents reported that rebel fighters are surrounding Fanaga area, North Darfur, from three different directions, after losing control of their former stronghold. Fanaga strategically lies at the main entrance of East Jebel Marra, and holds the largest trading market in the mountainous region.

Other residents, who have fled the area, claimed that if Sudan’s forces and militias are able to maintain control of Fanaga, the government will have control over East Jebel Marra for the first time since the Darfur conflict erupted in 2003. […]