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Sudan

Volume 405: debated on Monday 19 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Sudanese Government regarding their refusal to provide security clearance for the flights of the verification and monitoring team in Sudan. [112178]

On 7 April the Government of Sudan lifted flight restrictions imposed on the Civilian Protection Monitoring Team in March. On 7 April the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Special Envoy announced that the Verification Monitoring Team's (VMT) mission to Bentiu had been suspended. This followed concerns expressed by the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army about the tasking of the VMT. The IGAD Special Envoy has now proposed a compromise position which we hope will be acceptable to both parties and we continue to work with the mediators to ensure the operationalisation of the VMT as soon as possible.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he is making to those countries who voted against the resolution to continue to monitor Sudan's human rights record in the UN. [112179]

We are disappointed that the EU sponsored resolution on Sudan was not adopted by the UN Commission on Human Rights on 16 April. We lobbied members of the Commission on Human Rights about the resolution before the vote was taken, arguing that Sudan's human rights situation continued to deserve action by the commission. We will consult EU partners about what next steps to take to help address the human rights situation in Sudan.