Why Wadi Sayedna Air Base is the “key to governance” in Khartoum?


Control of Wadi Sayedna Air Base is the key to the success or failure of any military coup in Sudan, and without neutralizing it, the capital, Khartoum, cannot be subjugated.

Today, Wadi Sayedna Air Base plays a strategic role in the battles between the army and the Rapid Support Forces for more than a month, just as it played it for half a century ago.

The Wadi Sayedna Air Base, which is located north of Omdurman, 22 km from the center of the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, includes a civilian airport, and next to it is the Military College with its specialized institutes such as infantry and paratroopers, as well as the “Al-Safat Military Industrialization Complex”, which specializes in maintenance, industry, development and modernization. For various forms of civil and military aircraft.

Wadi Sayedna Air Base plays the most prominent role in the army’s attacks on the Rapid Support Forces, especially the forces’ camps inside Greater Khartoum (about 11 camps), and its points of concentration in the strategic axes, especially the bridgeheads, which connect the three cities of the capital (Khartoum, Khartoum North, and Omdurman). .

Fighters and attack helicopters launched from Wadi Sedna base also targeted the supply lines of the Rapid Support Forces coming from the Darfur region and North Kordofan state, towards Khartoum along a length of about 1,000 km.

The length of the supply lines and their exposure to aviation is one of the main weaknesses of the Rapid Support Forces, which hindered their control over the capital.


Humanitarianly, Wadi Sayedna Air Base played a prominent role in evacuating diplomats and foreign nationals from about 40 nationalities, including Turks, Americans, British, Egyptians and Germans, which highlighted its strategic importance.

However, a Turkish evacuation plane came under fire, which led to the suspension of evacuation operations at the base, although it was the safest route compared to the Khartoum-Port Sudan road (800 km / east).

Wadi Sedna Air Base had a prominent role in evacuating foreign nationals and diplomats from Khartoum (Anatolia)

Why did Rapid Support not control it?

Although it is the largest air base in Sudan, and represents the key to the success of any military coup, and through it the army directed the heaviest air strikes against the Rapid Support Forces, it is surprising that the latter did not launch an attack to control it, even though it is close to its deployment sites in Omdurman.

The irony is that the Rapid Support Forces, with the beginning of their attack, aimed primarily at controlling airports and air bases, similar to the Marawi Air Base in the “Northern” state, Khartoum International Airport, then Nyala Airport, in the state of South Darfur (west), while they failed to control El Fasher Air Base, North Darfur State (west), and El Obeid Air Base in North Kordofan (center).

The answer to this question was highlighted by pages attributed to the Sudanese army on social networks, which indicated that the Rapid Support Forces were preparing to attack the Wadi Sayedna base, starting from Karari camp, in the north of Omdurman, which is only a few kilometers away from the base, and includes about 5 thousand fighters.

However, the Sudanese army aircraft surprised the Rapid Support Forces in Karari camp with heavy bombardment by 10 attack aircraft, according to media reports, which led to the withdrawal of its members from the camp, and the army’s control over it.

Pages close to the army broadcast videos that it said were of the army forces inside Camp Karari, after the Rapid Support Forces withdrew from it.

The speed of the army’s move to bomb Karari camp before the Rapid Support Forces moved to seize the Wadi Sayedna base reflects that it was preparing in advance for such a scenario.

Observers believe that the fall of Wadi Sayedna Air Base, in the hands of the Rapid Support Forces, would have changed the course of the battles in Khartoum, given the role it currently plays in the field.

Yesterday, Tuesday, a military source in the Sudanese army confirmed the thwarting of a large-scale attack by the Rapid Support Forces on the military air base in the “Wadi Sayedna” area of ​​Omdurman, and that attempt was preceded by 3 other attempts to destroy it or put it out of service.

strategic importance

The base is secured in the east across the Nile River, and the closest bridge to it to cross from the bank of Khartoum Bahri to the bank of Omdurman is located south of the military zone in Wadi Sayedna, called the Halfaya Bridge, and is under the control of the army, which makes it more difficult than the ability of the Rapid Support Forces to maneuver to target the air base.

After the Khartoum International Airport was out of service due to the clashes, as well as the rapid support forces storming the Jabal Awlia base (south of Khartoum), which is used as a helipad, the Wadi Sayedna base became the only air outlet for the capital to the outside.

The new situation made the role of the Wadi Sayedna base strategic and vital on more than one level, especially with the possibility of a prolonged war, and the need for external support by the parties to the conflict with weapons and ammunition.

The key to controlling the hose

The strategic importance of Wadi Sayedna base emerged since its inception in 1967, when it was used as a rear base to receive and secure Egyptian warplanes in the Six-Day War of the same year, when Egyptian air bases were subjected to comprehensive Israeli raids.

The Wadi Sayedna base also emerged in the two successful military coups led by Colonel Jaafar Nimeiri in 1969 and Colonel Omar Hassan al-Bashir in 1989.

The Wadi Sayedna base was among the targets of what is known as the “mercenary operation” in 1976, in which the Libyan regime, led by Muammar Gaddafi, tried to overthrow the Nimeiri regime in Sudan, by training groups from the Sudanese opposition, and drawing up a plan to control Khartoum.

Ibrahim Khalil, the leader of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement in Darfur, also placed the Wadi Sayedna air base among his goals to control the capital, when he advanced from his remote strongholds in the region in 2008.

Khalil divided his forces into three teams, the first led him towards Khartoum, the second towards the radio and television headquarters in Omdurman, and the third headed towards the military area in Wadi Sayedna.

The base of Wadi Sedna has always been a target for those aspiring to rule Khartoum, including extending control and influence over the entire country, given the central character of the state.

Without controlling the Wadi Sayedna Air Base, the Rapid Support Forces will not be able to tighten their grip on the tripartite capital, even if they control all the military command headquarters, the Republican Palace, radio and television, Khartoum Airport, and the heliport in Jabal Awlia.

This scenario prompts the expectation that the Rapid Support Forces will try to intensify their attempts to control Wadi Sayedna Air Base, otherwise they will be depleted in terms of ammunition and fuel, and to a lesser extent supplies.

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