Saudi Arabia and US note improved respect for Sudan ceasefire agreement – statement

The situation in Sudan has improved since Wednesday, May 24 when there had been serious breaches of the ceasefire, the Saudi foreign ministry said in a joint statement with the US released via Twitter on Friday.

“In their capacity as facilitators, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America noted improved respect for the Agreement on a Short-Term Ceasefire and Humanitarian Arrangements in #Sudan on May 25,” the statement reads.

Both sides agreed to the ceasefire signed on May 20, 2023, following talks in Jeddah but in the days that followed there was a succession of violent clashes – with gunfire echoing through Sudan’s capital on Tuesday.

But on Wednesday the Saudi foreign ministry said they and the US facilitators were concerned that neither side had observed its commitment “not to seek military advantage during the 48-hour period after the agreement was signed.”

Friday’s statement went on to explain that “Although there was observed use of military aircraft and isolated gunfire in Khartoum, the situation improved from May 24 when the ceasefire monitoring mechanism detected significant breaches of the Agreement.”

The breaches included the “observed use of artillery and military aircraft and drones,” the statement added, explaining there had been “credible reports of airstrikes, sustained fighting in the heart of the Khartoum Industrial Area,” adding that there had also been clashes in Zalingei, Darfur.

The statement explained that following the serious violations of May 24 both the US and Saudi representatives told the warring parties that the lives of civilians were being placed at risk by the breaches that were also obstructing humanitarian assistance.

The US and Saudi Arabia went on to say they had cautioned both sides against committing further violations and to respect the ceasefire “which they did.”

The statement goes on to explain that on May 25, “humanitarian actors delivered some urgently needed medical supplies to several locations in Sudan.”

Maitenance crews were also able to carry out essential repair work to restore telecommunications services in Khartoum and other areas of Sudan.

“The facilitators urge the parties to carry forward the positive progress of May 25 for the remainder of the short-term ceasefire and uphold their commitments under the May 11 Declaration of Commitment to Protect the Civilians of Sudan,” the statement added.

And it appealed to both sides to “put the needs of the Sudanese people first and abide by the terms they agreed to just a few days ago.”

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States implore the parties to adhere to their obligations under the ceasefire agreement and take the steps necessary to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance and restoration of essential services,” the statement concluded.

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