The delegates of the Army Commander, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, and the Commander of the Rapid Support Forces, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, signed on Thursday night in Jeddah a “Declaration for the Protection of Civilians in Sudan.” This agreement, which was negotiated with US-Saudi mediation, provides for “safe passages” that allow civilians to leave the areas of clashes, as well as to facilitate the delivery of weapons.
Aerial bombardment continued on Saturday in the outskirts of Khartoum, whose millions of residents are still awaiting the implementation of the commitment of the warring parties regarding evacuating civilians from combat zones and providing safe passages for the transport of humanitarian aid.
The delegates of the Army Commander, Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, and the Commander of the Rapid Support Forces, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, signed on Thursday night in Jeddah a “Declaration for the Protection of Civilians in Sudan.”
This agreement, which was negotiated with US-Saudi mediation, provides for “safe passages” that allow civilians to leave areas of clashes, as well as to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid.
The agreement did not refer to a truce, but it spoke of further consultations to reach a temporary cease-fire, and later “extended discussions for a permanent cessation of hostilities”, which, since its outbreak a month ago, have killed 750 people, nearly five thousand wounded, and led to the displacement of 900,000 Sudanese from their homes. to other regions within the country or to neighboring countries.
Negotiations on the implementation of this agreement are scheduled to continue during the weekend in Jeddah, according to what was confirmed to AFP by a senior Saudi official who asked not to be identified. The official described this announcement as an “important step,” noting at the same time that the negotiation process is still in a “preliminary” stage. And near Omdurman, the western suburb of Khartoum, witnesses reported that air strikes targeted gatherings of the Rapid Support Forces.
An invitation to the Arab summit
Since the war broke out four weeks ago, on the fifteenth of April, millions of Sudanese have been living in Khartoum, isolated inside their homes, in suffocating heat and in light of the almost permanent cuts of water and electricity, and they suffer from a lack of food, liquid cash and fuel.
Outside the capital, the Darfur region, located on the border with Chad, which previously witnessed a fierce war that killed 300,000 people and led to the displacement of 2.5 million people at the beginning of this century, is witnessing violent clashes that, according to the United Nations, have killed 450 people so far. The two warring parties participate in these battles in addition to fighters belonging to the opposing ethnic groups and armed civilians.
On Saturday, the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the international community, especially the United Nations, the African Union, the Arab League and the IGAD organization, which includes East African countries, to provide “humanitarian aid” to confront the “bad humanitarian situation.”
The statement said that the Sudanese government “undertook” to allocate “the airports of Port Sudan (east), Dongola (north) and Wadi Sedna Al-Askari (east) to receive aid.”
For his part, the senior Saudi official confirmed that Al-Burhan was invited to attend the Arab summit, which is scheduled to be held in Riyadh on May 19, but he made it clear that he does not yet know who will represent Sudan.
Although the two parties exchange accusations in their statements of violating the “Jeddah Declaration”, the Saudi official indicated that the two parties showed a “good spirit” during the negotiations.
On Friday evening, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his hope that this agreement would lead to “the rapid and safe start of relief operations to meet the needs of millions of Sudanese,” and called again for an immediate ceasefire and “talks for a permanent cessation of hostilities.”
On the Egyptian-Sudanese border, Wahaj Jaafar, who left his country to seek refuge in Egypt, said: “We constantly hear about a truce within days, but when we go out into the streets, we only hear the sound of bullets.”