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, based on From their keenness to spare Sudan the consequences of the explosive military situation in order to stop bloodshed and help avoid a humanitarian catastrophe.
In the “Jeddah Declaration” signed in cooperation with Riyadh and Washington, the two parties said: “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.
For his part, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan confirmed, on Friday, that the Jeddah Declaration and the agreement that was signed within its framework, between the Sudanese army and the “rapid support” forces, is a “first step.” He said in a tweet on Twitter: “The city of Jeddah brought together representatives of the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces in an initiative to solve the crisis. The talks that took place and the declaration of commitment to protecting civilians come as a first step, and other steps will follow. The Saudi minister added, “The most important thing is to adhere to what was agreed upon,” stressing that “the kingdom will work until security and stability return to Sudan and its brotherly people.”
A Saudi American welcome
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States welcomed the signing by the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces of the Declaration of Commitment to Protect Civilians in Sudan. The Saudi Foreign Ministry statement indicated that the Jeddah talks, after signing, will focus on reaching an agreement on an effective ceasefire for a period of up to ten days, in order to facilitate the agreed activities, indicating that the security measures will include a mechanism to monitor the ceasefire supported by the United States. Saudi Arabia and the international community.
The statement added: “In line with the adopted incremental approach agreed upon by the parties, the Jeddah talks will address proposed arrangements for subsequent talks – with Sudanese civilians and regional and international partners – on a permanent cessation of hostilities. With Sudanese civilians and regional and international partners in the next rounds of talks.
7 items in the “Jeddah Declaration”
Article 1: We agree that the interests and safety of the Sudanese people are our primary priorities, and affirm 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.
Article Two: We affirm our 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 refrain from any attack expected to cause incidental civilian harm, which may be excessive, compared to the anticipated concrete and direct military advantage. And take all possible precautions to avoid and reduce harm to civilians, which aims to evacuate urban centers, including civilian homes, for example, civilians should not be used as human shields.
Ensure that checkpoints are not used to violate the principle of freedom of movement for civilians and humanitarian actors. Allow all civilians to leave areas of hostilities and any besieged areas voluntarily and safely. 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 acquisition, respect and protect all private and public facilities such as medical facilities, hospitals, and water and electricity facilities, and refrain from using them for military purposes. Obligation to respect and protect medical transports such as ambulances and to refrain from using them for military purposes. And the obligation to respect and protect medical personnel and public facilities. Respect and not infringe on the right of civilians to pass and travel by roads and bridges inside and outside Khartoum state.
and 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 active 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. Treating all persons deprived of their liberty humanely and providing key humanitarian organizations with regular access to persons in detention.
Reducing human suffering
Article Three: We realize 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.
Allow and facilitate the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian aid, including medical and surgical equipment, and ensure the freedom of movement for relief workers necessary to perform their duties. This includes: facilitating the safe, expeditious and unhindered passage of humanitarian personnel 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. and adhere to regular humanitarian breaks and quiet days as needed. And to refrain from interfering with major humanitarian operations and not to accompany humanitarian workers when they carry out humanitarian activities, taking into account the amended directives and procedures for humanitarian action in Sudan.
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.
International humanitarian law
Article 4: Make every effort to ensure that these and all obligations of international humanitarian law are fully disseminated within our ranks, and that we designate points of contact to engage with humanitarian actors to facilitate their activities.
Article Five: 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.
Article Six: 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.
Article Seven: In furtherance of the principles and commitments contained 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 basic services, and we also commit to scheduling subsequent broad discussions to achieve a permanent cessation of hostilities.