DJIBOUTI – The Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces have failed to agree on a ceasefire in the first round of Jeddah talks in Saudi Arabia.
Through a press statement on Tuesday, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development said the co-facilitators regretted that the parties were unable to reach a deal, adding that there is no acceptable military solution to the conflict.
In this regard, Saudi Arabia and IGAD – on behalf of the African Union, and the United States – called upon the SAF and RSF to put the Sudanese people first, silence the guns, and seek a negotiated end to the “needless war”.
However, Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan’s SAF and Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo’s RSF committed to taking steps to facilitate increased humanitarian assistance and to implement confidence-building measures.
SAF and RSF also committed to participate in a joint humanitarian forum led by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to resolve impediments to humanitarian access and deliveries of assistance, and identify points of contact to assist with movements of humanitarian personnel and assistance.
IGAD said the talks in Jeddah remain focused on facilitating the delivery of humanitarian assistance, establishing ceasefires and other confidence-building measures, and building toward a permanent cessation of hostilities.
The two sides also committed to implement confidence-building measures related to the establishment of communication between SAF and RSF leaders, arrest of prison escapees and fugitives, improvement of each side’s official media discourse, and reduction of inflammatory rhetoric, as well as actions concerning each side’s warmongers and pro-war elements.
The press statement added that the belligerent parties also made specific, individual commitments regarding the facilitation of humanitarian access.
“These shared and individual commitments can represent important steps toward facilitating increased humanitarian access to help ease the suffering of the Sudanese people. It is now up to the SAF and RSF to fully implement their commitments,” it said.
According to the UN humanitarian boss, the war in Sudan had as of October killed 9,000 people and displaced more than 4.5 million people inside Sudan, while over 1.2 million others seeking refuge in neighboring countries
“For six months, civilians have known no respite from bloodshed and terror… Horrific reports of rape and sexual violence continue to emerge,” UN Undersecretary-General Martin Griffiths said in a statement marking the six-month anniversary of the war. “
The fighting, Griffiths said, has also left 25 million people in need of humanitarian aid.
The Jeddah talks resumed after President William Ruto, who chairs the IGAD Quartet leading regional mediation efforts, held talks with Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salma in Riyadh.
During their meeting, President Ruto, who had remained adamant the negotiations ought to have been led by AU-backed IGAD process, welcomed Saudi Arabia’s “bold commitment to intervene and help tame conflicts in the region”.
The IGAD Quartet mediation team had on September 6 rejected an invitation to the Jeddah initiative led by the US and Saudi Arabia.
The Heads of State and Government of the IGAD Quartet Group of Countries meeting in Nairobi on the sidelines of the Africa Climate Summit reiterated their call for a structured all-inclusive approach towards peace talks anchored in the IGAD-AU-led initiative.