(CNN)The warring Sudanese parties have signed an agreement intended to lay the groundwork for humanitarian assistance to resume in Sudan, senior US State Department officials said Thursday.
The agreement signed in Jeddah by representatives from the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) is not a ceasefire, but rather “a declaration of commitment to protect the civilians of Sudan.”
The purpose of the declaration “is to guide the conduct of the two forces so that we can get in humanitarian assistance, help begin the restoration of essential services like electricity and water, to arrange for the withdrawal of security forces from hospitals and clinics, and to perform the respectful burial of the dead,” one of the officials explained.
The next step will be to negotiate a ceasefire which would allow those actions to take place, the official told reporters, and talks on that could begin as early as Friday.
“We will move as fast as we can with the parties to get to actual actions. We’ve already made specific recommendations to each side to take actions and some of that is happening,” the official told reporters on a call.
A ceasefire monitoring mechanism has been developed to “help hold the parties accountable to what they’ve agreed to do,” the official said