Hours after announcing the agreement on a 7-day cease-fire, Al-Arabiya sources reported today, Sunday, the renewal of aerial bombardment in Khartoum.
Simultaneously, Al-Arabiya correspondent reported hearing explosions and heavy artillery in the south and center of Omdurman.
For its part, the Rapid Support Forces announced today, Sunday, their “total” commitment, starting tomorrow evening, to the ceasefire agreement concluded with the Sudanese army in Jeddah, mediated by Saudi Arabia and the United States.
In a statement, it said it was also committed to working to “facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid, open passages for civilians, and provide everything that would alleviate the suffering” of the Sudanese.
These developments came after Saudi Arabia and the United States announced early Sunday that representatives of the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces in Jeddah had signed a seven-day ceasefire agreement, amid an Arab welcome.
The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the agreement will enter into force 48 hours after signing, stressing the possibility of extending it with the consent of both parties.
Regarding the terms of the agreement, the ministry confirmed that the two parties agreed to deliver and distribute humanitarian aid, restore services, withdraw forces from hospitals and basic public facilities, and facilitate safe passage for providers of humanitarian aid and goods.
Not to seek military gains
Both sides confirmed their commitment not to pursue any military gains during the 48-hour notice period.
The Saudi Foreign Ministry said that the ceasefire agreement will be subject to a monitoring mechanism supported internationally by the Kingdom and the United States.
She added that the subsequent talks, which will include Sudanese civilians and regional and international partners, are expected to focus on the necessary steps to reach a permanent cessation of hostilities and activate the political process.
Military aspects only
For its part, the Sudanese Armed Forces said in a statement that the agreement is limited to the “military and technical aspects” of the temporary ceasefire arrangements, procedures for freedom of movement of civilians and their protection from violence, and related issues, without discussing any “political situations”.
At the local level, the Forces for Freedom and Change coalition welcomed the agreement, calling for full compliance with the Jeddah Declaration of Principles and the short-term ceasefire agreement.
In turn, the spokesman for the political process in Sudan, Khaled Omar Youssef, said that the Jeddah agreement is an important step towards stopping this war, expressing his hope that the two parties will abide by the provisions of the agreement.
The Sudanese National Umma Party also welcomed the army and the Rapid Support Forces reaching a cease-fire agreement for a week, calling on the two parties to the conflict to commit to implementing the terms of the agreement and to work to open paths to facilitate the movement of citizens and facilitate humanitarian efforts.
Arab and international reactions
On the Arab level, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, welcomed the signing of the armistice agreement in order to facilitate the delivery of emergency humanitarian aid and the restoration of basic services.
The Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Jassem Al-Budaiwi, also welcomed the agreement, praising the relentless diplomatic efforts of the Kingdom and the United States to establish a cease-fire armistice to open the way for opportunities for peace in Sudan.
The General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation welcomed the signing of the cease-fire agreement in Sudan, and the Secretary-General of the Organization, Hussein Taha, expressed his hope that this agreement would constitute an important step that paves the way towards ending the armed conflict in Sudan once and for all.
In Washington, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said it was time to “silence the guns and allow unhindered humanitarian aid,” calling on both sides of the conflict to adhere to the agreement signed in Jeddah.
Today, Sunday, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths, welcomed the announcement of the ceasefire, and said on his Twitter account that the warring parties in Sudan must allow the safe delivery of humanitarian aid and restore basic services.
Sudan slipped into the abyss of direct fighting between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces on April 15, while the military and civilian parties were putting the final touches on a political process that was supposed to lead to the formation of a civilian government.
The two sides have agreed on more than one truce since the outbreak of the conflict, but they have repeatedly accused each other of violating it.
According to the World Health Organization, the military confrontation between the army and the Rapid Support Forces has resulted in the death of more than 700 people and the injury of nearly six thousand, in addition to the displacement of at least one million people inside and outside Sudan.