Smoke rises after an aerial bombardment in Khartoum North, 12 May 2023 (Reuters)

Sudan crisis: Jeddah agreement branded ‘meaningless’ as fighting resumes

After signing a declaration in Saudi Arabia, the Sudanese army and Rapid Support Forces returned to fighting

Smoke rises after an aerial bombardment in Khartoum North, 12 May 2023 (Reuters)

On Thursday night, a “declaration of commitment” was signed in Jeddah by Sudan’s warring factions, following nearly a week of talks mediated by hosts Saudi Arabia and the United States.

This declaration was not a ceasefire. As if to underline that fact, the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary returned to their war on Friday, with air strikes and artillery rounds pummelling the capital Khartoum.

None of the six humanitarian ceasefires announced by the United States and Saudi Arabia during the course of the conflict has so far held.

Neither Sudanese side has released a statement acknowledging the deal, which was signed on behalf of the army by Rear Admiral Mahjoub Bushra Ahmed Rahma and for the paramilitary by Brigadier General Omer Hamdan Ahmed Hammad, who is the brother of RSF chief Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemeti.

The two men did not shake hands after signing the document, but instead posed for photos with Saudi officials while US negotiators hovered in the background.

On Friday morning, the RSF tweeted a video saying that its forces were “in the field and ready for any confrontation”.

At the same time, the UN refugee agency said that some 200,000 people have fled Sudan to neighbouring countries since fighting began on the morning of 15 April.

Middle East Eye has seen the English text of the Jeddah agreement and can confirm that it contains many grandly framed statements about the “wellbeing of the Sudanese people [being] our top priority” and the “responsibility to respect international humanitarian law and international human rights law”. This

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