Sudan: Army, RSF agree to seven-day ceasefire following talks in Jeddah

Sudan: Army, RSF agree to seven-day ceasefire following talks in Jeddah
The ceasefire, which will come to effect on Monday at 21:45 local time, was announced by Saudi and US officials following talks in Jeddah.
2 min read
21 May, 2023
Ceasefires have been put in place between the warring factions in Sudan, many of which were violated [Getty]

Sudan’s warring factions have agreed to enact a seven-day ceasefire, US and Saudi officials confirmed in a statement late on Saturday following talks in Jeddah.

The statement said that the agreement will come into force 48 hours after the truce was signed, Reuters confirmed.

The Sudanese army, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the parliamentary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), headed by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo pledged to not seek any military advantage before the ceasefire come into effect at 21:45 Khartoum time (1945 GMT) on 22 May.

The US State Department and the Saudi foreign ministry further added that the ceasefire may be extended by the parties if an agreement between them is reached. 

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The statement stressed that the two sides must agree to distribute humanitarian aid, restore basic services and withdraw military forces from hospitals and similar public facilities.

Additionally, the parties agreed to facilitate the safe passage of humanitarian aid providers, allowing for it to reach those in need.

"It is past time to silence the guns and allow unhindered humanitarian access. I implore both sides to uphold this agreement - the eyes of the world are watching," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken added.

Several ceasefires have been put in place between the Sudanese army and the RSF, though many of them were violated as fighting still continued between the rival forces. This was acknowledged by the Saudi Foreign Ministry in a statement published by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) on Sunday.

The statement added that, unlike previous truces, the new agreement will be supported by a US-Saudi and international-supported ceasefire monitoring mechanism.

Sudan's Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), a coalition of political parties supporting democratic rule, welcomed the ceasefire agreement late on Saturday.

"We call for full commitment to Jeddah 'Declaration of Principles' and to the short-term ceasefire agreement as well as humanitarian arrangements", they said.

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Conflict broke out in Sudan on 15 April amid a power struggle between al-Burhan and Dagalo, also known as 'Hemedti', prompting a humanitarian crisis in Africa’s third-biggest country.

At least 850 people have been killed in the fighting according to the Turkish Anadolu agency, with thousands more injured.

The conflict has gone on to trigger mass displacement of Sudanese civilians, with thousands seeking refuge in the neighbouring countries of Ethiopia, Egypt and Chad, among others.

On Friday, the UN aid chief Martin Griffith said he was allocating $22 million in emergency funds to help Sudanese fleeing the violence. The funds will aid relief efforts in the countries where refuge has been sought.