Saudi Arabia and the United States announced that the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces signed on Saturday evening in Jeddah a short-term agreement to stop the fighting in Sudan, accompanied by humanitarian arrangements. This comes after renewed clashes with heavy weapons in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces.
On the political level, the United States of America and Saudi Arabia said in a joint statement that the two parties to the conflict in Sudan, the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces, signed late yesterday, Saturday, a 7-day ceasefire agreement.
The joint statement stated that the ceasefire will enter into force 48 hours after the signing and can be extended with the consent of the two parties.
The Reuters news agency quoted the US State Department as saying that the ceasefire will enter into force as of Monday, 9:45 pm local time.
The statement added that the two sides agreed to deliver and distribute humanitarian aid, restore basic services, and withdraw forces from hospitals and basic public facilities. The two parties also agreed to facilitate safe passage for humanitarian aid providers, allowing the unhindered flow of aid from ports of entry to populations in need.
“It is known that the two parties had previously announced a cease-fire that was not implemented,” the joint statement said, adding that, unlike previous agreements, the new agreement will be supported by a mechanism to monitor the cessation of hostilities, supported internationally by the United States and Saudi Arabia.
Both sides of the conflict, the Saudis and the Americans, have informed them of their commitment not to seek military superiority during the period prior to the start of the cessation of hostilities.
Meanwhile, the US State Department said that Secretary Anthony Blinken called the Sudanese army commander, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, and they discussed the ongoing talks in Jeddah.
According to a statement by the US State Department, Blinken renewed his condemnation of the acts of violence committed by the armed forces and the Rapid Support Forces. He added that Blinken assured Al-Burhan that reaching an agreement in Jeddah would allow the provision of humanitarian aid and basic services that the Sudanese people desperately need.
On the other hand, the Federal Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid in Sudan, Najmuddin Abdul Aziz, acknowledged the difficulty at the present time in talking about solutions outside the agreement of principles that was signed in Jeddah.
Abdel Aziz described, after his meeting in the city of Port Sudan, the representative of the United Nations Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs, the situation in Khartoum is very complex due to the transformation of the military operations there into a guerrilla war, as he put it.
It is noteworthy that on May 6, direct talks began in Jeddah between the two parties to the conflict in Sudan, and this was followed by the signing of a preliminary agreement between them on May 12 that includes the implementation of humanitarian commitments and the continuation of the Jeddah talks with the aim of reaching a ceasefire agreement for about 10 days, under US-Saudi international monitoring. To be followed by further consultations for a permanent cessation.
On the ground, a member of the Sudanese Sovereignty Council, assistant commander-in-chief of the Sudanese army, Lieutenant General Yasser Atta, said that the army controls all the states of Sudan, with the exception of some pockets. He added that the armed forces eliminated more than 85% of what he described as the rebel forces.
On Saturday, the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, witnessed air raids and mutual artillery shelling between the army led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the Rapid Support Forces led by Muhammad Hamdan Dagalo, and the Qatari embassy was attacked in the midst of the conflict between them.
Clashes with heavy weapons were renewed in Khartoum between the two parties, and the army said that it had launched strikes against Rapid Support sites, while Rapid Support says that it is responding to these attacks.
And the Al-Jazeera correspondent reported hearing the sounds of heavy weapons on Saturday morning in the southern neighborhoods of Omdurman, central Khartoum and the city of Bahri. He also referred to hearing sounds of anti-aircraft guns.
Khartoum residents told AFP that the capital witnessed fierce fighting despite international appeals for a humanitarian truce. Eyewitnesses said that among the areas that were attacked were those surrounding the official television building in Omdurman.
On the other hand, Malik Agar, head of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, who was recently appointed by Al-Burhan as Vice President of the Sovereignty Council, said that he is working to reach a cease-fire and then stop the war permanently.
In conjunction with Al-Burhan’s decision to dismiss Hamidti from the position of Vice-President of the Sovereign Council, and to appoint Malik Aqar in his place, other battles raged in the Darfur region in the west, where battles are taking place to control the centers of the cities of the Darfur states, amid conflicts regarding their course, with the continued suffering of the residents of these states.
For its part, the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the attack on its embassy and said in a statement, “The State of Qatar condemns in the strongest terms the storming and vandalism of its embassy building in Khartoum by irregular armed forces.”
The Qatari Foreign Ministry renewed the call to “immediately stop the fighting in Sudan, exercise maximum restraint, resort to the voice of reason, give priority to the public interest, and spare civilians the consequences of the fighting.”
In recent weeks, the embassies of Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have been attacked.
Since its outbreak on April 15, the battles have claimed nearly a thousand lives, most of them civilians, and prompted more than a million Sudanese to flee or seek refuge in neighboring countries.