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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Agreement on a Short-Term Ceasefire and Humanitarian Arrangements in Sudan

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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America announce that on May 20, 2023, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, representatives of the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces signed an Agreement on a Short-Term Ceasefire and Humanitarian Arrangements.  The short-term ceasefire, which enters into force 48 hours after the signing of the Agreement, shall remain in effect for seven days and may be extended with the agreement of both parties.

Under the Agreement, the parties agreed to facilitate the delivery and distribution of humanitarian assistance, restore essential services, and withdraw forces from hospitals and essential public facilities.  The parties also agreed to facilitate the safe passage of humanitarian actors and commodities, allowing goods to flow unimpeded from ports of entry to populations in need.

Both parties have conveyed to the Saudi and U.S. facilitators their commitment not to seek military advantage during the 48-hour notification period after signing the agreement and prior to the start of the ceasefire.  The ceasefire will go into effect at 09:45 p.m., Khartoum time, on May 22.

It is well known that the parties have previously announced ceasefires that have not been observed.  Unlike previous ceasefires, the Agreement reached in Jeddah was signed by the parties and will be supported by a U.S.-Saudi and international-supported ceasefire monitoring mechanism.  This short-term ceasefire is in line with the step-by-step approach agreed by the parties.  It is anticipated that subsequent talks will focus on additional steps necessary to improve security and humanitarian conditions for civilians such as vacating forces from urban centers, including civilian homes, accelerating removal of impediments to the free movement of civilians and humanitarian actors, and enabling public servants to resume their regular duties.

Given the brutality of the conflict, our immediate focus has been on stopping the fighting to relieve the suffering of the Sudanese people.  The Jeddah talks have focused on a short-term ceasefire to facilitate humanitarian assistance and restoration of essential services.  They are not a political process and should not be perceived as one.  We anticipate that subsequent talks in Jeddah will address steps needed to reach a permanent cessation of hostilities.  We look forward to leadership by Sudanese civilian stakeholders, with the support of the regional and international community, on a political process to resume a democratic transition and form a civilian government.

The Sudanese people have now suffered for five terrible weeks as a result of this devastating conflict.  The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States stand by them and we demand the parties fully abide by their commitments under this Agreement for a short-term humanitarian ceasefire to provide them with urgently needed relief.

The full text of the agreement is available here: https://www.state.gov/agreement-on-a-short-term-ceasefire-and-humanitarian-arrangements/

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Official news published at https://www.state.gov/agreement-on-a-short-term-ceasefire-and-humanitarian-arrangements-in-sudan/

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