UAE welcomes deal between Sudan warring sides to protect civilians - GulfToday

UAE welcomes deal between Sudan warring sides to protect civilians


Officials stand for a group photo after the ceremony in Jeddah on Thursday night. Reuters

The UAE has welcomed the announcement by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States that representatives of the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Jeddah have signed a Declaration of Commitment in order to protect civilians in Sudan, in accordance with international humanitarian law, to facilitate relief work and meet the urgent needs of civilians.

In a statement, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) commended the efforts made by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States to facilitate the signing of this Declaration, which provides for a ten-day ceasefire to enable the delivery of relief supplies and humanitarian aid, and advances efforts to end the conflict between the parties and spare the Sudanese people from further suffering.

The ministry expressed the hope that this step would contribute to facilitating the arrival of relief and humanitarian aid to affected areas, particularly for the most vulnerable groups, including the sick, children, the elderly and women, and to securing a permanent ceasefire in order to serve the interests of the Sudanese people, to reach the desired political stability and security in Sudan.

‘First step toward a ceasefire’

The UN envoy for Sudan on Friday welcomed a deal between the country's warring generals promising safe passage to civilians fleeing the conflict and protection for humanitarian operations in the East African nation.

The envoy, Volker Perthes, said the agreement was an important first step toward a cease-fire to the fighting which is about to enter its fourth week.

The Sudanese military and the RSF signed a pact late on Thursday vowing to alleviate humanitarian suffering across the country, although a truce remains elusive. Both sides also agreed to refrain from attacks likely to harm civilians. The violence has already killed over 600 people, including civilians, according to the UN healthy agency.

"The most important element is that both sides commit to continue talks," Perthes said during an online UN news conference from his office in Port Sudan. International efforts to turn the deal into a cease-fire have already started, he added.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the agreement, which outlines a series of shared pledges and promises to "facilitate humanitarian action in order to meet the needs of civilians.”

The deal signing-ceremony, brokered by the United Sates and Saudi Arabia, was aired by Saudi state media in the early hours of Friday. Neither the military nor the RSF immediately issued statements acknowledging Thursday's pact.

It does not provide any detail on how the agreed-on humanitarian promises would be upheld by troops on the ground. Previously, both sides agreed to several short cease-fires, since the fighting broke out on April 15, but all have been violated.

Despite the signing, residents in Khartoum said fighting continued throughout Friday morning. "I woke up to an airstrike (landing) nearby,” said Waleed Adam, a resident living in the east of the capital.

A witness in Khartoum's south reported "fighter jets overhead and the sound of clashes and explosions," while another in the north reported "air strikes and the sound of anti-aircraft missiles."

In west Darfur, which has seen some of the bloodiest fighting, people took cover from heavy gunfire and artillery blasts, witnesses said.

Envoys for the two generals — army chief Abdel Fattah Al Burhan and paramilitary commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo — had agreed in Jeddah to "affirm our commitment to ensure that civilians are protected."

The agreement commits both sides to let in badly needed humanitarian assistance and also calls for the restoration of electricity, water and other basic services.

WAM / Agencies


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