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Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 1 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports she has received on the expulsion of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the UN in Sudan from that country; and what assessment she has made of the likely effect of his expulsion on (a) a peace deal being secured in the region and (b) human rights in Sudan. (98282)

The Government condemns the decision by the Sudanese Government to expel Jan Pronk, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative to Sudan. This step will contribute nothing to solving the problems of Sudan: Khartoum needs to co-operate with the UN to steer the comprehensive peace agreement to a successful conclusion and to bring an end to the appalling conflict in Darfur. We are in close contact with the UN Secretariat on their response and have protested directly to President Bashir. We call upon the Sudanese Government to reconsider its decision.

But notwithstanding the next steps over this regrettable decision, UN efforts must and will continue to address the suffering of the people of Sudan.