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Jeddah Negotiations Questioned by Former Sudan Trade Minister

In light of the current escalating military operations in Sudan between the two warring groups, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Madani Abbas, Director of the Sudanese Development Call Organisation and former Minister of Trade, questioned the realistic possibility of implementing the humanitarian commitments that were reached in Jeddah.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga’s Sudanese Files program, broadcasted on Thursday, Abbas highlighted both sides’ “lack of serious willingness” to implement the Jeddah commitments, and their inability to control their forces, with reference to recent bouts of clashes in Khartoum and Darfur. 

The Jeddah negotiation platform was facilitated by Saudi Arabia and the USA, in partnership with the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) in the Horn of Africa. It featured negotiations focused on reaching a truce, facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid, and confidence-building measures, as well as the possibility of a permanent cessation of hostilities. 

Abbas told Radio Dabanga: ”The two sides have not implemented the agreed-upon confidence-building steps and have not provided any means of safe passage for workers. Both the SAF and RSF were accused of seizing aid, including health aid.”  

The former minister said that “the implementation of humanitarian obligations is contingent on reaching a comprehensive solution, of which the humanitarian aspect is a part.” 

Wide frustrations 

Abbas referred to the state of frustration among large segments of the Sudanese population over the failure to reach a ceasefire agreement. He attributes this delay to the lack of sincere desire between and internally among both warring groups. 

“The army is not united in its will to stop the war. It suffers from major problems that highlight the extent of corruption in the military, in addition to the emergence of Islamists and its impact on the general image of the army,” said Abbas. 

“However, the RSF expects that any victories achieved on the ground will enable them to reach their ambitions at the political and economic levels.” 

Abbas argued for the necessity of removing the current military leaders from the military institution, given growing concerns regarding the political process and arrangements for the future. He explained, that “a ceasefire is not possible without political perception or vision.” 

 Transitional justice 

 Regarding pardoning those involved in violations, Abbas explained that “transitional justice achieves a balance between the issue of impunity and not closing all doors to criminals and violators.” He stressed the need to create a model of transitional justice that works to achieve the required balance to avoid the continuation of war and criminal violations.  

Abass pointed out the possibility of preserving the lives of violators in exchange for confession of crimes, removal from the political and military scene, and the imposition of political and moral penalties. He argued for the liquidation of the military’s economic activities, indicating that it opens the door to corruption. 

Close relationships between military companies and Sudanese businessmen are a root cause of economic crisis in Sudan, economic experts Khaled Mohamed Ahmed and Abdelrahman Eisa explained in an interview with Radio Dabanga in October 2022. 

Source: Radio Dabanga