The provisions of the “Jeddah Declaration” issued by the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces

The provisions of the “Jeddah Declaration” issued by the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces
The provisions of the “Jeddah Declaration” issued by the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces

Iman Hanna

Friday, May 12, 2023 11:11 AM

The “Jeddah Declaration” issued by the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces included several items, most notably the commitment to protect civilians, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

The signatories to the declaration indicated that it came from their realization of the need to alleviate the suffering of our people resulting from the fighting in Sudan since (the fifteenth of last April, especially in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, and to meet the requirements of the current humanitarian situation that civilians are going through, and in response to the appeals of sister countries. And the friend through its many initiatives, especially the Saudi-American initiative.

Through this declaration, the signatories confirmed their commitment under international humanitarian law to facilitate humanitarian action in order to meet the needs of civilians, and their firm commitment to the sovereignty of Sudan and the preservation of its unity and territorial integrity.

The signatories added, “We realize that adherence to the declaration will not affect any legal, security or political situation of the signatory parties, nor will it be linked to engagement in any political process, and they welcomed the efforts made by the friends of Sudan who harness their relations and good offices in order to ensure respect for international humanitarian law.” and international human rights law, including adherence to the Declaration and its immediate implementation.

The signatories to the Declaration made it clear that none of the points contained in 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 AD, which all parties must parties fulfilled.

The advertisement included the following items:

1. We agree that the interests and safety of the Sudanese people are our primary priorities and reaffirm our commitment to ensuring the protection of civilians at all times, including by allowing safe passage for civilians to leave areas of active hostilities on a voluntary basis in the direction of their choice.

2. We affirm our responsibility to respect international humanitarian law and international human rights law, including the obligation to:

Distinguishing at all times between civilians and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives.

Refrain from any attack likely to cause incidental civilian harm that would be excessive in comparison to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.

Taking all possible precautions to avoid and minimize harm to civilians, which aims to evacuate civilian centers, including civilian homes, for example, civilians should not be used as human shields.

Ensure that checkpoints are not used in violation of the principle of freedom of movement for civilians and humanitarian actors.

Allow all civilians to voluntarily and safely leave areas of hostilities and any besieged areas.

Obligation to protect the needs and necessities indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, which can include foodstuffs, agricultural areas, crops, and livestock. Looting, looting and destruction are also prohibited.

Commitment to evacuation, 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.

Obligation to respect and protect medical transportation such as ambulances and to refrain from using them for military purposes.

Obligation to respect and protect medical workers and public facilities.


Respecting and not infringing on the right of civilians to pass and travel by roads and bridges inside and outside Khartoum state.


Take 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.

Refrain from recruiting and using children in hostilities.

Refrain from engaging in enforced disappearances and arbitrary detention of civilians.

Refrain from any form of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, including sexual violence of all kinds.

Treat all persons deprived of their liberty in a humane manner and give the main humanitarian organizations regular access to persons in detention.

3. We recognize that humanitarian activities aim to alleviate human suffering and protect the life and dignity of non-combatants or those who have ceased to fight. We agree on the need to allow essential humanitarian operations to resume and protect humanitarian workers and assets, including:

Respecting the basic humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence of humanitarian operations.

Allowing and facilitating the rapid unimpeded passage of humanitarian aid, including medical and surgical equipment, and ensuring freedom of movement for relief workers that is necessary to perform their duties. This includes:

Facilitate the safe, rapid, and unimpeded passage of 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.

Adopting simple and quick procedures for all logistical and administrative arrangements for humanitarian relief operations.

Adhere to regular humanitarian breaks and quiet days as needed.

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 procedures for humanitarian action 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.

4. Make every effort to ensure that these obligations – and all obligations of international humanitarian law – are fully disseminated within our ranks, and that focal points are designated to engage with humanitarian actors to facilitate their activities.

5. Enabling responsible humanitarian agencies, such as the Sudanese Red Crescent and/or the International Committee of the Red Cross, to collect the dead, register their names, and bury them in coordination with the competent authorities.

6. Take all necessary measures to ensure that all persons subject to our instructions, direction or control comply with international humanitarian law, in particular the obligations contained in this Declaration.

7. In furtherance of the principles and commitments set forth in this Declaration, we commit to prioritizing discussions with the aim of achieving a short-term ceasefire to facilitate the delivery of emergency humanitarian assistance and the restoration of essential services, and we further commit to scheduling subsequent broad discussions to achieve a permanent cessation of hostilities.

The declaration was signed in Jeddah on May 11, 2023 AD, in cooperation with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America.