Sudanese Forces Agree to Protect Civilians, While Rejecting Cease-Fire Efforts
Amid Sudan’s ongoing crisis, rival forces have agreed to safeguard civilians, but there is no progress towards a ceasefire
Amid the ongoing crisis in Sudan, the warring factions have committed to protecting civilians while also allowing the movement of humanitarian aid, according to U.S. officials.
The United States State Department confirmed on their website on Thursday, writing:
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America are pleased to announce that on May 11, 2023 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, representatives of the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces signed a Declaration of Commitment to Protect the Civilians of Sudan. The Declaration of Commitment recognizes the obligations of both sides under international humanitarian and human rights law to facilitate humanitarian action to meet the emergency needs of civilians.”
Although this may seem like a sliver of hope, reports have stated that the factions remain far apart on the issue of a long-term cease-fire. In spite of this development, The U.S. government and the Sudanese Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have agreed to a temporary cease-fire and the scheduling of "subsequent expanded discussions" to reach a permanent end to hostilities.
The talks, which took place in the Saudi port of Jeddah, resulted in a declaration that the sides would strive for a short-term truce in follow-up meetings. A senior U.S. State Department official told NBC News on condition of anonymity that both warring sides were still “quite far apart.”
Although a text of the declaration released after the talks confirmed that the warring factions would “commit to prioritizing discussions to achieve a short-term cease-fire to facilitate the delivery of emergency humanitarian assistance and restoration of essential services,” there isn’t any confirmation of a full-time arrangement.
According to The United States State Department, the warring parties involved are aiming to reach an agreement for a cease-fire that would last for up to about ten days.
The eruption of violence in Sudan last month has caused a humanitarian crisis, with hundreds of people killed and thousands injured. Even after cease-fire agreements were put in place, the conflict has continued, leaving civilians to face a dangerous landscape of destruction. This has resulted in the displacement of thousands, with others seeking refuge in neighboring states. Several countries have evacuated their citizens from the war-torn country.
The United States has sought to address the situation, signing a declaration on Friday that aims to improve the flow of aid, restore electricity and water services, and provide respectful burials for the dead. However, the Sudanese envoy to Geneva said the conflict is an “internal affair,” and neither side has shown signs of offering concessions to end the conflict.
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