Representatives of the army led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the Rapid Support Forces led by Muhammad Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hamidti, reached an announcement after about a month of fighting that resulted in the deaths of more than 750 people and the displacement of thousands, within the framework of “preliminary talks” with the participation of the United States and the United Nations that began last Saturday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The two parties to the conflict in Sudan signed a declaration Thursday night, pledging to respect the rules that allow the provision of humanitarian aid, without yet reaching a ceasefire agreement, in negotiations that US diplomats described as difficult.
Representatives of the army led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the Rapid Support Forces led by Muhammad Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hamidti, reached this declaration after about a month of fighting that killed more than 750 people and displaced thousands, within the framework of “preliminary talks” with the participation of the United States and the United Nations that began last Saturday. in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The declaration stated the following: “We affirm our commitment to ensuring the protection of civilians at all times, and this includes allowing safe passage for civilians to leave areas of active hostilities on a voluntary basis in the direction of their choosing.” “.
The American official stated that the two parties are committed, according to this declaration, to general principles, to allow the arrival of humanitarian aid, to restore electricity, water and other basic services, to withdraw their personnel from hospitals and to allow the dead to be buried with dignity. , talking about the existence of a proposal for a truce for ten days.
The US official stated that what the two parties agreed upon “is not a cease-fire, but rather an affirmation of their obligations under international humanitarian law, especially with regard to the treatment of civilians and the need to provide space for work” of those concerned in the humanitarian field.
The official expressed a “cautious” hope that the signing of this declaration by the two parties “will contribute to establishing a momentum forcing them to provide space” for the entry of humanitarian aid, although she acknowledged that a “far” distance still separates the two parties in the talks.
Negotiations will continue to reach a new temporary truce that allows the delivery of aid, which may last up to ten days, according to a statement issued by the US State Department.
At least 18 humanitarian workers have been killed since the war began on 15 April. Several UN agencies and NGOs announced a temporary suspension of their work in Khartoum and Darfur due to the fighting. Her work has subsequently resumed in some areas, but she says she faces constant violence.
The United Nations World Food Program had reported that food aid worth millions of dollars had been looted in Khartoum.
For its part, the Forces for Freedom and Change, the former civilian component of the Sudanese government, considered the signing of this declaration “an important first step towards ending the war that has been going on in the country since April 15,” and urged the two parties to “strictly and seriously adhere to what was agreed upon.”
The tripartite mechanism consisting of the United Nations, the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) also welcomed the declaration, and said in a statement: “This is an important first step towards Alleviation of human suffering and protect the lives and dignity of civilians in Sudan.” The two sides agreed for the first time on means to monitor violations of any truce reached, officials said.
A second US official said the negotiations were “very difficult” and acknowledged that both sides may have ulterior motives by monitoring the ceasefire. However, he indicated that the length of time mediation took would at least make the cease-fire more “effective” if it was reached.
And in 2021, Al-Burhan and Daglo were overthrown together in the coup of their civil partners, after they shared power with them since the fall of Omar Al-Bashir. However, differences soon emerged between the two generals and escalated, one of the most prominent reasons being the conditions for integrating the Rapid Support Forces into the army.
The violence began about a month ago after the Rapid Support Forces refused to implement the merger, as stipulated in a fragile agreement to complete a transitional process to civilian rule. Diplomats and experts questioned whether the warring sides really wanted peace or were more interested in defeating the other.
On Thursday, the United Nations Human Rights Council voted narrowly in favor of strengthening monitoring of violations in Sudan, in light of the conflict between the army and the Rapid Support Forces, despite the opposition of Khartoum and Arab and foreign countries.
And 18 of the 47 council members voted in favor of the resolution, while 15 opposed it and 14 abstained. The resolution calls for an end to the violence and an expansion of the mandate of a UN expert specializing in Sudan to include monitoring violations “directly resulting from the current conflict,” which is approaching its first month.
On Thursday night, Saudi Arabia, which played a central role in evacuating foreign civilians from Sudan, announced the full implementation of these operations for its citizens and nationals of friendly countries.
And the Saudi Foreign Ministry stated in a statement that the evacuations “included 8,455 people (404 citizens, and 8,051 people belonging to 110 nationalities), who were evacuated by a group of ships and planes” of the Saudi army.