Jeddah talks suspended as Sudan ceasefire falters

Cartoon by Omar Defallah (RD)


The joint US/Saudi Arabian facilitators of the Jeddah talks between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which resulted in the May 20 Short-Term Ceasefire and Humanitarian Arrangement, today announced that the talks are suspended “as a result of repeated serious violations of the short-term ceasefire and recent ceasefire extension by the SAF and RSF… until the parties demonstrate meaningful commitment to the Jeddah talks”.

In a joint announcement in their capacity as facilitators, Saudi Arabia and the USA say that the violations have impeded the delivery of humanitarian assistance and restoration of essential services that are the purpose of the short-term ceasefire.

“While discussions are paused, the facilitators remind the parties that they remain bound to their obligations under the May 11 Jeddah Declaration of Commitment to Protect the Civilians of Sudan and the May 29 five-day ceasefire extension.”

The statement says that the facilitators have communicated to the parties steps they will need to take to demonstrate meaningful commitment to the Jeddah talks. In addition, the parties have privately communicated confidence-building measures they want to see implemented by the other party prior to resuming the Jeddah talks. “The Saudi Arabia and the USA stand ready to reconvene the Jeddah talks once the parties have taken the necessary steps.

“Although imperfectly observed, the initial seven-day ceasefire led to some reduction in fighting that enabled humanitarian assistance to reach an estimated two million Sudanese and gave them some measure of respite. However, both parties committed serious ceasefire violations. Those included occupation of civilian homes, private businesses, public buildings, and hospitals, as well as air and artillery strikes, attacks, and prohibited movements.

“Those violations have directly impacted humanitarian assistance efforts. Since the outbreak of hostilities on April 15, humanitarian actors have reported the theft of 115 vehicles and the looting of 57 warehouses and 55 offices. During the ceasefire, humanitarian trucks have been prevented passage and warehouses have been looted in areas controlled by both parties.”

The statement concluded that the facilitators stand ready to work in earnest with the parties to resume the Jeddah talks once they have taken demonstrable steps to implement their obligations to enable humanitarian assistance and essential services restoration.

As previously reported by Radio Dabanga, the SAF announced their withdrawal from further participation in the Jeddah talks yesterday, because of “repeated RSF violations”.