Khartoum – November 8, 2023
Press release – for immediate release
The Declaration of Principles Group (DOP Group) and the Coordination of the Civil Democratic Forces for Ending the War and Restoring Democracy (Taqaddum), – representing a broad coalition of a large number of civil society organizations, civil peace initiatives, and political blocks working to end the war and restore democratic transition–, today took note of the commitments made by the two warring parties in the Jeddah negotiations to facilitate the flow of humanitarian aid and jointly called on the warring parties to translate these commitments into tangible actions and not leave them as mere rhetoric.
As part of the effort to implement these commitments, the DOP Group and Tagaddum would like to remind the international community and the two warring parties that the civilian volunteers working in emergency rooms, resistance committees, unions of health professionals, professional and citizen philanthropic unions, traditional leaders, civil administrations, and Sufi orders are the ones currently responding to the needs of war victims and providing health care and shelter. They provide food all over the country – relying on the contributions of local communities and, to a limited extent, international partners. They do this without protection and at significant risk of abuse from both parties.
The following are our demands as civil groups regarding the implementation of the provisions of the humanitarian obligations of both warring parties and international actors:
1. Include representation of civilian forces working in the fields of humanitarian relief in the joint humanitarian mechanism agreed upon by the two warring parties, to be led by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid (UN-OCHA)
2. Recognizing the role of local organizations in providing humanitarian aid since the outbreak of war.
3. Ensure the commitment of the two warring parties and all their affiliated forces throughout the country to protect civilian humanitarian volunteers from attacks by their affiliated units, which, since the outbreak of the war between the two, have perpetrated many incidents of arbitrary arrest, torture, physical liquidation, sexual assaults, and the targeting of hospitals and ambulances.
4. Include civil organizations already involved in humanitarian relief operations as implementing agencies in any international humanitarian assistance plan.
5. Provide funding and logistical aid to civil organizations to enable them to continue carrying out their current roles and improve their performance.
6. Deal seriously and responsibly with reports of civil humanitarian organizations regarding violations by the warring parties of their obligations.
7. Monitor and follow up on these violations internationally and hold those responsible accountable.
8. Finally, the international community should increase direct pressure on the two warring parties to ensure that they implement all the provisions of the Jeddah Declaration, signed in May, which commits them to implement all provisions of international humanitarian and human rights law, including guaranteeing the protection of civilians and prisoners of war, providing safe passage for them to exit combat areas, and protecting essential civilian infrastructure.
We expect quick responses from the international humanitarian community and the parties to these demands, which will contribute to alleviating the suffering of the masses of Sudanese citizens affected by this devastating war.