Saudi Arabia, US urge Sudanese to extend ceasefire as violations impede aid delivery

May 28, 2023

JEDDAH — Saudi Arabia and the United States have urged both Sudanese parties to agree to an extension of the current ceasefire.

In their capacity as facilitators — Saudi Arabia and the United States — noted that there were violations by both parties that significantly impeded delivery of humanitarian assistance and restoration of essential services in five days after the entry into force of a short-term ceasefire.

In violation of the prohibition against aerial attacks and the use of military aircraft or drones, the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) has flown military aircraft daily during the ceasefire, including a confirmed airstrike on May 27 in Khartoum.

The strike reportedly killed two people and there followed a separate airstrike on the same day that damaged Sudan’s currency printing press, a joint statement said on Sunday.

“There has been continued encroachment in civilian areas by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), including occupation of civilian homes, private businesses and public buildings.

“There were confirmed instances of looting of residences and businesses by RSF in those areas. Both sides undertook attacks and moved troops, weapons and other resources.”

“As examples, the SAF conducted multiple attacks in the Saq Al-Umla area and the RSF moved significant forces to the Al-Halfaya Bridge, in proximity to the Wadi Seidna Air Base,” it read.

Both sides have told the facilitators that they are committed to facilitating humanitarian assistance and restoration of essential services for the sake of the Sudanese people.

However, RSF and SAF both committed prohibited acts that impeded those efforts. On May 26, humanitarian actors seeking access to hospitals and other infrastructure observed emplaced snipers in RSF-controlled territory.

On May 24, SAF elements commandeered medical supplies from two separate facilities to which those goods had just been delivered.

On May 25, fuel funds and two vehicles in a humanitarian convoy were stolen — one in an area between SAF and RSF forces and one in an area controlled by RSF.

Maintenance personnel have been unable to access essential infrastructure facilities to conduct repairs due to the presence of armed actors at those facilities and heavy fighting in proximity to them. Both parties are posturing for further escalation.

The facilitators assessed that cessation of SAF airstrikes, withdrawal of RSF forces from urban areas and ending attacks against humanitarian actors would facilitate improved delivery of assistance the Sudanese people badly need. — SG

May 28, 2023
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