Jeddah Declaration of Commitment to the Protection of Civilians in Sudan
Aware of the need to alleviate the suffering of our people resulting from the fighting in Sudan since (the fifteenth of April 2023),
especially in the capital, Khartoum, and to meet the requirements of the current humanitarian situation that civilians are going
In response to the appeals of brother and friend countries through their many initiatives, foremost of which is the Saudi–American
Through this Declaration, we, the undersigned, the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), reaffirm
our fundamental obligations under international humanitarian law to facilitate humanitarian action to meet the needs of civilians.
We reaffirm our firm commitment to the sovereignty of the Sudan and the preservation of its unity and territorial integrity.
We recognize that adherence to the Declaration will not affect any legal, security or political status of the signatories, nor will it
be linked to engaging in any political process.
We welcome the efforts of the Friends of the Sudan, who use their relations and good offices to ensure respect for international
humanitarian law and international human rights law, including the commitment to the Declaration and its immediate
None of the points below supersede any obligations or principles under international humanitarian law and international human
rights law applicable to this armed conflict, in particular Additional Protocol II of 1977 to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949,
which must be fulfilled by all parties.
1. We agree that the interests and safety of the Sudanese people are our main priorities and reaffirm our commitment to ensuring
the protection of civilians at all times, including allowing safe passage for civilians to leave areas of active hostilities on a voluntary
basis in the direction of their choice.
2. We affirm our responsibility to respect international humanitarian law and international human rights law, including the
a. Distinguish at all times between civilians and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives.
b. Refrain from any attack that is expected to cause incidental civilian harm which is excessive in relation to the concrete and
direct military advantage anticipated.
c. Take all feasible precautions to avoid and minimize harm to civilians, aiming at evacuating urban centers, including civilian
dwellings, for example civilians should not be used as human shields.
d. Ensure that checkpoints are not used to violate the principle of freedom of movement of civilians and humanitarian actors.
e. Allow all civilians to leave areas of hostilities and any besieged areas voluntarily and safely.
f. Commitment to protecting the needs and necessities indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, which can include
foodstuffs, agricultural areas, crops and livestock. Looting and destruction are also prohibited.
g. Obligation to evacuate, refrain from acquisition, respect and protect all private and public facilities such as medical facilities,
hospitals, water and electricity facilities, and refrain from using them for military purposes.
h. Commitment to respect and protect medical means of transport such as ambulances and refrain from using them for military
i. Commitment to respect and protect medical personnel and public facilities.
j. Respect and non–infringement of the right of civilians to pass and travel by roads and bridges inside and outside Khartoum State.
k. Take all feasible measures to collect and evacuate the wounded and sick, including combatants indiscriminately, and allow
humanitarian organizations to do so, and not impede medical evacuations, including during active hostilities.
l. Refrain from recruiting and using children in hostilities.
m. Refrain from engaging in enforced disappearances and arbitrary detention of civilians.
n. Refrain from any form of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, including sexual violence of all kinds.
q. Treat all persons deprived of their liberty in a humane manner and enable key humanitarian organizations regular access to
3. We recognize that humanitarian activities are aimed at alleviating human suffering and protecting the lives and dignity of
persons who are not combatants or who have stopped fighting. We agree on the need to allow the resumption of core
humanitarian operations and the protection of humanitarian personnel and assets, including:
a. Respect the fundamental humanitarian principles represented in humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence of
b. Allow and facilitate the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian aid, including medical and surgical equipment, and
ensure the freedom of movement of relief workers necessary for the performance of their tasks. This includes:
(1) Facilitating the safe, rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian workers through all available routes and any humanitarian
corridors (existing as required by needs to and within the country, including the movement of humanitarian convoys).
(2) Adopt simple and expeditious procedures for all logistical and administrative arrangements for humanitarian relief operations.
(3) Adhere to regular humanitarian pauses and quiet days as needed.
(4) Refrain from interfering in key humanitarian operations and not accompanying humanitarian workers when carrying out
humanitarian activities, taking into account the amended guidelines and procedures for humanitarian action in Sudan.
c. Protect and respect humanitarian personnel, assets, supplies, offices, warehouses and other facilities. Armed actors must not
interfere in the activities of humanitarian operations. While respecting the principle of neutrality of humanitarian actors, armed
actors must ensure the security of transport corridors and storage and distribution areas. It also prohibits attacking, harassing,
intimidating or arbitrarily detaining individuals, or attacking, destroying or stealing supplies, installations, materials, units or relief
4. Make all efforts to ensure that these obligations –and all obligations of IHL– are fully disseminated within our ranks, and that
points of contact are established to engage with humanitarian actors to facilitate their activities.
5. Enable responsible humanitarian actors, such as the Sudanese Red Crescent and/or the International Committee of the Red
Cross, to collect, register and bury the dead in coordination with the competent authorities.
6. Take all necessary measures to ensure that all persons under our instructions, directions or control comply with international
humanitarian law, in particular the obligations contained in this Declaration.
7. In furtherance of the principles and commitments contained in this Declaration, we commit ourselves to prioritizing discussions
with a view to achieving a short–term ceasefire to facilitate the delivery of emergency humanitarian assistance and the restoration
of essential services, as well as to schedule subsequent expanded discussions to achieve a permanent cessation of hostilities.
Signed in Jeddah on May 11, 2023, in cooperation with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America.
Rear Admiral Mahgoub Bushra Ahmed Rahma – Sudanese Armed Forces
Brigadier General Omar Hamdan Ahmed Hemaya – Rapid Support Forces