The UAE welcomed the announcement by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America that representatives of the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces in Jeddah signed a declaration of commitment to protect civilians in Sudan, in accordance with international humanitarian law and human rights law, to facilitate relief work and meet the urgent needs of civilians. In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation praised the efforts made by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States to sign this agreement, which provides for a 10-day ceasefire to enable the delivery of relief supplies and humanitarian aid, and which paves the way for ending the crisis between the parties and sparing the Sudanese people more violence. suffering. The ministry expressed the hope that this step would contribute to facilitating the arrival of relief and humanitarian aid to the affected areas, especially to the most needy groups of patients, children, the elderly and women, and a permanent ceasefire in order to achieve the aspirations of the brotherly Sudanese people for security, stability and prosperity.
In connection, the United Nations Special Representative for Sudan, Volker Peretz, expressed optimism yesterday about the possibility of mediators reaching a cease-fire in Sudan in the next few days, between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces, after the two parties signed in Jeddah on Thursday night a declaration pledging to respect the rules of war. It allows the provision of humanitarian aid.
The United Nations Special Representative for Sudan said that the ceasefire talks in Sudan will resume within a day or two, and Volker Peretz added that a change has occurred in the positions of the two warring parties, which may make them more willing to abide by any future agreement.
The two parties to the conflict in Sudan late Thursday reached a preliminary agreement to protect civilians and allow the delivery of humanitarian aid after a week of talks in the Saudi city of Jeddah, but the agreement did not include a commitment to peace and the fighting continued on Friday.
Volker Peretz said he spoke with one of the two sides after the agreement was reached and received assurances of their willingness to continue negotiating.
“We expect to resume those talks related to the ceasefire today or tomorrow,” he told a press conference in Geneva via video link from Port Sudan. In theory, it should not take long to agree on the terms of the cease-fire.
Peretz said that the previous cease-fire agreements did not hold due to the feeling that each side could achieve victory, but he added that he noticed a change in their positions.
“The two sides realized that even if they were able to achieve victory, it would not be a quick victory, and that a long and protracted war would completely destroy the country, and at that time there would be nothing left that they could win,” he said.
Representatives of the army, led by Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces led by Muhammad Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hamidti, reached the “Jeddah Declaration” after about a month of fighting that resulted in the killing 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.
“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 choice,” the declaration said.
The US official familiar with the talks announced that the two sides had signed a “declaration of commitment to protect civilians in Sudan.”
And she explained that the two parties are committed, according to this declaration, to general principles to allow the arrival of humanitarian aid, restore electricity, water and other basic services, withdraw their personnel from hospitals and allow the burial of the dead with “dignity.”
The official, who asked not to be named, explained that what the two sides agreed upon “is not a cease-fire. It is an affirmation of their obligations under international humanitarian law, especially with regard to the treatment of civilians and the need to provide space for the work of those concerned in the humanitarian field.-
The official expressed cautious hope that the signing of this declaration by the two parties would contribute to establishing a momentum that would force them to provide space for the entry of humanitarian aid, despite her acknowledgment that a long 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 10 days, according to a statement issued by the US State Department.
A second US official said the negotiations were “very difficult” and acknowledged that both sides may have ulterior motives by observing the ceasefire.
“Frankly, there is some hope on both sides that the other side will be seen as the perpetrator,” he added.
For his part, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan described the announcement as a first step. “The most important thing is to adhere to what was agreed upon, and the kingdom will work until security and stability return to Sudan and its brotherly people,” he wrote on Twitter.
The battles continued between the two sides yesterday, in Khartoum and in the city of El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur state. In the south of the Sudanese capital, witnesses reported flying fighter planes and hearing the sound of clashes and explosions.
In Khartoum North (north of the capital), witnesses said that there was air strikes and anti-air defenses were heard in the Halfaya area.
In Geneva, UNHCR spokeswoman Olga Sarrado told reporters: “As violence continues in Sudan for the fourth week, nearly 200,000 refugees and returnees have been forced to flee the country, with more people crossing the border seeking safety.”
“The humanitarian response is difficult and expensive,” she added, noting that refugees and returnees are arriving in remote border areas, where services and infrastructure are scarce or unavailable and the host population is suffering under the weight of climate change and food scarcity.
For neighboring Chad, she said that some 30,000 refugees had arrived in recent days, bringing the total number of those who arrived from Sudan in recent weeks to 60,000.
The United Nations Migration Agency said earlier this week that more than 700,000 people have been displaced within Sudan following the outbreak of fighting on April 15.
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.