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Sudan

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to include Dafur within human rights monitoring as part of the Sudan peace process. [111371]

Human rights provisions of the eventual peace agreement will apply throughout Sudan. The talks have not yet progressed to the stage of agreement on monitoring arrangements.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the inter-tribal conflict in Dafur, Sudan. [111372]

The situation in Dafur is extremely complex with unresolved inter-Arab disputes and Arab-African ethnic clashes. Previous efforts at mediation have not succeeded. In the near future further conflict may prevent the delivery of humanitarian relief. International staff of international non-Governmental organisations (INGOs) and the UN have been withdrawn and access to Dafur remains difficult.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of the demonstrations that have taken place in Dafur, Sudan, on the security situation in the region. [111373]

We have received reports that a demonstration took place in Geneina on the Chadian border in Dariur on 26 April. Following clashes in the area demonstrators protested at the killings and the failure to arrest those responsible. There were also protests on 26 April against the Sudan Liberation Movement following its attack against the airport in El-Fashir. International staff of International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) and the UN have been withdrawn and access to Dafur remains difficult. Further conflict may prevent the delivery of humanitarian relief.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Government of the Sudan on the situation in Dafur, Sudan. [111378]

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development raised the situation in Dafur with the Sudanese First Vice-President on 29 April, during his visit to London. The British Embassy in Khartoum will continue to monitor the situation in Dafur. They are in contact with a wide range of Government and National Congress party officials in addition to Dafur MPs and other local representatives.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the decision of the UN Commission on Human Rights to vote against the extension of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the Sudan; and what discussions he has had with the Russian Government on this matter. [111379]

We were disappointed that the EU sponsored resolution on Sudan was not carried at the UN Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on 16 April. The result of the vote (24 in favour, 26 against and three abstentions) was the first defeat for this resolution in 10 years and means the termination of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur, Gerhard Baum.At CHR, we and EU partners had extensive discussions on EU initiatives with all CHR members, including Russia.