Sudan’s army chief has lambasted “negligent” commanders after a rival paramilitary group captured the strategic city of Wad Madani.

The army had been criticised for leaving the capital of Gezira state, without putting up a fight.

More than 300,000 people have fled Gezira, which had been seen as a safe haven in the eight-month civil war.

Four days after Wad Madani’s fall, Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan addressed the matter publicly.

“We will hold every negligent commander accountable. Those who were responsible for this withdrawal will also be held accountable without leniency,” he said.

The army says it will investigate the “surprise withdrawal”, which enabled the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to take control of Wad Madani.

The RSF announced that they have captured the entire Gezira state but the BBC has been unable to verify this. However, aid workers have been pulling out of neighbouring areas in case the fighting continues to spread.

The RSF, who have been battling the army since April, are believed to control nearly 70% of Sudan’s capital city, Khartoum, along with most of the western Darfur region.

Hundreds and thousands of people have fled from unsafe areas, like Khartoum, to Gezira and Wad Madani.

Islamic Relief Sudan Director Elsadig Elnour was in Wad Madani when fighting broke out, and told BBC Newsday that civilians there were “panicked”.

Source: BBC