JEDDAH — Saudi Arabia and other facilitators of the talks between the rival Sudanese parties expressed their regret over the inability of the first round of talks in Jeddah in reaching an agreement on enforcing a ceasefire in the war-torn country.

The co-facilitators announced that the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have committed to take steps to facilitate increased humanitarian assistance and to implement confidence-building measures (CBMs), the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The co-facilitators of the talks are Saudi Arabia, the United States, and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which represents the African Union. They called upon the SAF and RSF to put the Sudanese people first, silence the guns, and seek a negotiated end to this needless war.

The Jeddah talks focused on a narrow set of objectives such as facilitating the delivery of humanitarian assistance, agree to ceasefire and other confidence-building measures, and build toward a permanent cessation of hostilities.

Reaffirming their obligations under the May 11, 2023 Jeddah Declaration of Commitment to Protect the Civilians of Sudan, both the SAF and RSF 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; identify points of contact to assist with movements of humanitarian personnel and assistance; and implement confidence-building measures related to the following themes:

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; and actions concerning each side’s warmongers and pro-war elements. It was agreed that implementation of these measures will be undertaken simultaneously.

The belligerent parties also made specific, individual commitments regarding the facilitation of humanitarian access, which are detailed in the SAF and RSF documents. 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.

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