According to US sources, the parties to the conflict in Sudan have agreed on guidelines for enabling humanitarian aid. Representatives of the army and the paramilitary RSF militia signed a "declaration of commitment to protect civilians in Sudan" in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Thursday evening, according to a US representative involved in the talks. Talks on a ceasefire continued.
The declaration obliges both sides to allow humanitarian aid into the country in order to enable the restoration of supplies of electricity, water and other basic services. In addition, security forces are to be withdrawn from hospitals and "respectful burials" of the dead are to be initiated.
Parties to the conflict "quite far apart"
Negotiations on a temporary ceasefire are still ongoing, according to the US representative, who wished to remain anonymous. "This is not a ceasefire. This is a declaration of commitment under international humanitarian law, especially with regard to the treatment of civilians" and the need to enable humanitarian workers to do their work.
"We are hopeful, cautious, that their willingness to sign this document will create some momentum for them to create the space" for aid deliveries, she said. In the negotiations, however, the two parties to the conflict are "quite far apart".
More than 750 people have already been killed and hundreds of thousands displaced in the fighting in Sudan between the troops of army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which has been ongoing since mid-April.
Representatives of the two generals have been negotiating since Saturday in Jeddah in "preliminary talks" with the participation of the United States and the United Nations. UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths has put forward proposals in which both sides guarantee a secure framework for humanitarian aid.