May 28 Joint Facilitators’ Statement from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America on the Ceasefire and Humanitarian Arrangements

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

For instance, 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 that reportedly killed two people and a separate airstrike on the same day that damaged Sudan’s currency printing press.  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 prohibited movement of 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, apparently adopting an offensive posture to prepare for further attacks against the Wadi Seidna Air Base.

Both sides have told the facilitators that they have effective command and control of their forces and are committed to facilitating humanitarian assistance and restoration of essential services.  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 have told facilitators their goal is de-escalation to facilitate humanitarian assistance and essential repairs, yet both parties are posturing for further escalation.  The facilitators assess 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.  Realizing it was imperfectly observed, we have urged both parties to agree to an extension of the current ceasefire, to provide more time for humanitarian actors to undertake that vital work.