The Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces signed a declaration of commitment to protect civilians in Sudan and work together for a short-term ceasefire in further talks, after talks over a week in the Saudi city of Jeddah, which were the result of efforts and endeavors made by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States, starting from From their keenness to spare Sudan the consequences of the explosive military situation in order to stop bloodshed and help avoid a humanitarian catastrophe.
The two parties said in the “Jeddah Declaration” that was signed in cooperation with Riyadh and Washington: “We, the undersigned, the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces, affirm through this declaration our basic obligations under international humanitarian law to facilitate humanitarian action in order to meet the needs of civilians. We affirm our firm commitment to the sovereignty of Sudan and the preservation of its unity and territorial integrity. We realize that adhering to the declaration will not affect any legal, security or political situation of the signatory parties, nor will it be associated with engaging in any political process.
They added, “We welcome the efforts made by the Friends of Sudan who are harnessing their relations and good offices to ensure respect for international humanitarian law and international human rights law, including adherence to the Declaration and its immediate implementation.”
The final declaration of the Jeddah talks constitutes a road map to get out of the current crisis and its consequences, and the guarantee of its success is due to the extent of the two parties’ commitment to what it contained, and the adoption of dialogue as a way to solve the existing problems.
The “Jeddah Declaration” indicated that none of the “points of the declaration” replace any obligations or principles under international humanitarian law and international human rights law that apply to this armed conflict, in particular the Second Additional Protocol of 1977 AD annexed to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, which must All parties fulfilled.
The interests and safety of the Sudanese people
The “Jeddah Declaration” included the agreement of the two parties that “the interests and safety of the Sudanese people are our main priorities and 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 Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces affirmed their responsibility to respect international humanitarian law and international human rights law, including the obligation to distinguish at all times between civilians and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives, and to refrain from any attack expected to cause incidental civilian harm that would be excessive. Compared to the expected tangible and direct military advantage.
In addition to taking all possible precautions to avoid and reduce harm to civilians, which aims to evacuate civilian centers, including civilian homes, “for example, civilians should not be used as human shields”, and to ensure that checkpoints are not used in violation of the principle of freedom of movement of civilians and humanitarian actors, and to allow To all civilians to voluntarily and safely leave areas of hostilities and any besieged areas.
In addition to the obligation to protect the needs and necessities that are indispensable for the survival of the civilian population, which can include foodstuffs, agricultural areas, crops and livestock.
Looting, looting and destruction are also prohibited. And the obligation to evacuate and refrain from possession, respect and protect all private and public facilities such as medical facilities, hospitals, water and electricity facilities, and refrain from using them for military purposes, and the obligation to respect and protect medical transportation such as ambulances and refrain from using them for military purposes, and respect and protect medical workers and public facilities, and not trespass Civilians have the right to pass and travel by roads and bridges inside and outside Khartoum State. As well as taking all possible measures to collect and evacuate the wounded and sick, including combatants – without discrimination – and allow humanitarian organizations to do so, and not to impede medical evacuations, including during actual hostilities.-
The “Jeddah Declaration” stressed the need to refrain from recruiting and using children in hostilities, to refrain from engaging in enforced disappearances and arbitrary detention of civilians, and to refrain from any form of torture or other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, including sexual violence in all forms. treat all persons deprived of their liberty humanely and give the main humanitarian organizations regular access to persons in detention.-
Resumption of humanitarian operations
The “Jeddah Declaration” affirmed that humanitarian activities aim to alleviate human suffering and protect the lives and dignity of non-combatants or those who have ceased fighting. Humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence of humanitarian operations.
Allow and facilitate the rapid and unhindered passage of humanitarian aid, including medical and surgical equipment, and ensure the freedom of movement for aid workers necessary to perform their duties. This includes facilitating safe, expeditious and unimpeded passage for humanitarian workers through all available routes (and any existing humanitarian corridors) as required by needs, into and within the country, including the movement of humanitarian aid convoys.
The declaration also stipulated the adoption of simple and rapid procedures for all logistical and administrative arrangements for humanitarian relief operations, and adherence to regular humanitarian pauses and days of calm as needed. In addition to refraining from interfering in major humanitarian operations and not accompanying humanitarian workers when they carry out humanitarian activities, taking into account the amended directives and humanitarian action procedures in Sudan.
and protect and respect humanitarian personnel, assets, supplies, offices, warehouses and other facilities. Armed actors must not interfere with the activities of humanitarian operations. While respecting the principle of the neutrality of humanitarian actors, armed actors must ensure the security of transport corridors and storage and distribution areas. It is also prohibited to attack, harass, intimidate, or arbitrarily detain individuals, or to attack, destroy, or steal supplies, facilities, materials, units, or relief vehicles.
The declaration urges that all efforts be made to ensure that these commitments – and all obligations of international humanitarian law – are fully disseminated, that focal points are designated to engage with humanitarian actors to facilitate their activities, and that responsible humanitarian actors, such as the Sudanese Red Crescent and the International Committee of the Red Cross, are able to collect, register and bury the dead. In coordination with the competent authorities.
The declaration stressed that all necessary measures should be taken to ensure that all persons subject to the instructions, direction or control of the parties comply with international humanitarian law, in particular the obligations contained in the declaration.
The Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces committed to prioritizing discussions with the aim of achieving a short-term ceasefire to facilitate the delivery of emergency humanitarian assistance and restoring basic services, as well as committing to scheduling subsequent expanded discussions to achieve a permanent cessation of hostilities.
The commitment of the two parties to the conflict in Sudan to what was reached in the Jeddah Declaration would pave the way for positive progress in the current crisis, leading to the return of political dialogue in a way that would restore Sudan’s security and stability and preserve the integrity of its institutions, soil and decision.