Can Sudan’s rival forces uphold their promise to protect civilians amidst the absence of a ceasefire?

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Sudan’s army and rival paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) signed a declaration to work towards a short-term ceasefire in further discussions. The two factions committed to prioritising discussions to achieve a short-term ceasefire for the delivery of emergency humanitarian assistance and restoration of essential services. Negotiators will next discuss specific security measures for safeguarding relief supplies. Saudi Arabia and the US mediators will support a US-Saudi and international ceasefire monitoring mechanism. However, the two sides remain far apart, and it will be a long process to move from a temporary ceasefire to a permanent cessation of hostilities. The US hopes that the two sides’ willingness to sign Friday’s declaration will build momentum towards peace. Clashes rocked Halfaya, an entry point to the capital Khartoum, on Thursday, and previous ceasefire agreements have been repeatedly violated. The conflict is threatening to pitch Sudan into a civil war, killing hundreds of people and triggering a humanitarian crisis with more than 600 people killed and more than 5,000 injured in the fighting.

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