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Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will make a statement on progress with the implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement. (80225)

[holding answer 27 June 2006]: The Darfur Peace Agreement was signed on 5 May. Implementation has been slow. There has been less fighting between the two parties to the agreement: the Sudanese government and the main rebel faction. But overall levels of violence in Darfur remain high. We are providing practical support to the African Union and the parties to help them with implementation. And we are encouraging those who have not yet signed the agreement to support it.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the allegation that Chinese-supplied weapons have been discovered in Darfur; and if she will make a statement. (80521)

[holding answer 27 June 2006]: We are aware of reports that Chinese weapons have been found in Darfur. The UN has an arms embargo on the Darfur region, which prohibits the movement of arms into Darfur unless specifically authorised by the UN beforehand. We are also actively encouraging China to support work towards an arms trade treaty which would end the irresponsible trade in conventional arms.

I have raised with the Chinese ambassador the huge challenges that Africa must meet in terms of peace and stability, sustainable development and good governance and encouraged China to play a positive role as a responsible and leading member of the international community.