US/Saudi facilitators urge Sudan’s warring SAF and RSF to uphold humanitarian ceasefire

A humanitarian food distribution point at El Shima boarding school in El Gezira (Photo WFP/Lumia Elhag)

KHARTOUM / JEDDAH / WASHINGTON –


The joint facilitators of the Jeddah Agreement on a short-term seven-day ceasefire and humanitarian arrangements, that was signed by the belligerent Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on Saturday, and went into effect on Monday night, “have noted with concern that neither side observed its commitment not to seek military advantage during the 48-hour period after the agreement was signed and before it went into effect”.

In a joint statement, the USA and Saudi Arabia, joint facilitators of the Jeddah talks, reiterated that “after five weeks of continued conflict, the Sudanese people badly need the humanitarian assistance and restored essential services that the short-term ceasefire is intended to enable”.

They note that “while fighting in Khartoum appeared to be less intense than in recent days, the facilitators conveyed to the parties reports indicating that both sides violated the agreement. Those included reported offensive operations in [the national capital] Khartoum and El Obeid [capital of North Kordofan], airstrikes and use of artillery.”

The facilitators’ statement says that today in Jeddah, representatives to the Ceasefire Monitoring and Coordination Committee engaged constructively on humanitarian assistance deliveries and undertook to engage their respective chains of command regarding allegations of ceasefire violations as the Committee seeks to verify the reports. Preparations for humanitarian assistance movements to deliver lifesaving assistance are underway, the US and Saudi Arabian statement reports.

The statement concludes that “the Sudanese people continue to suffer as a result of this devastating conflict,” and the USA and Saudi Arabia “reiterate their commitment to the Sudanese people and demand that the parties fully abide by their commitments under this agreement for a temporary humanitarian ceasefire to provide urgently needed humanitarian relief”.

‘Cautious calm’

As reported by Radio Dabanga today, large parts of Khartoum witnessed a cautious calm on Tuesday, however shooting reportedly continued in parts of Omdurman, Khartoum, and in El Obeid, capital of North Kordofan.

In an unambiguous video message, ostensibly directed at the Sudanese people, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken cautioned the warring parties to abide by the ceasefire, which includes monitoring by a remote US-Saudi-international monitoring mechanism. “If the ceasefire is violated, we’ll know. And we will hold violators accountable through our sanctions and other tools at our disposal,” Blinken warned.

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