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Sudan: Humanitarian situation at heart of diplomatic efforts

Sudanese Ayoub Abu Fatema, head of an NGO organization, receives relief supplies from The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre at Port Sudan airport, May 11, 2023.   -  
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Amr Nabil/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved

Saudi Arabia

Sudan's warring military sides signed in Jeddah, late Thursday (May 11), a commitment to abide by humanitarian principles.

The United States and Saudi Arabia are leading the nearly week-long talks.

"Today's agreement is the result of your true will to spare our brotherly Sudanese people from bearing the consequences of the ongoing military conflict," Waleed A. Elkhereiji, the Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister said.

"This agreement will allow securing basic and essential humanitarian aid to the affected people."

In Geneva, a few hours earlier, the U.N.-backed Human Rights Council narrowly adopted a resolution to further scrutinize human rights violations taking place in Sudan.

Since the eruption of violence over 750 people have been killed and, 5,000 injured.

The UNHCR spokesperson took stock of the humanitarian situation.

"As violence in Sudan continues for a fourth week, around 200,000 refugees and returnees have been forced to flee the country, with more crossing borders daily seeking safety," Olga Sarrado detailed.

"Additionally, hundreds of thousands have been internally displaced, with many more people confined to their homes unable to access necessities."

According to the US and Saudia Arabia, talks are ongoing with a proposal on the table for a 10-day truce. After previous truces evaporated, the United States said the two sides agreed in Jeddah for the first time on ways to monitor any ceasefire.

But fighting and looting raged most of Thursday (May 11) in the capital Khartoum, and the region of Darfur.

If no truce has been reached, the Jeddah declaration calls among other things for the restoration of water and other basic services and the "respectful burial" of the dead.

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