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Sudan

Volume 451: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made in securing international support to encourage Sudan to accept UN Security Council Resolution 1706 for the deployment of a UN security force in Darfur. (99398)

A strong peacekeeping force is critical to efforts to resolve this terrible conflict. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and other colleagues have engaged African, Arab and other leaders to help persuade Sudan to co-operate. We have also engaged the Sudanese Government on this: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development met President Bashir on 16 October in Khartoum to press him to stop the violence, accept a UN peacekeeping force, implement the Darfur Peace Agreement and reach a political settlement with the non-signatories. My right hon. Friends the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary, the Secretary of State for International Development and my noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, met with the First Vice President of Sudan and President of Southern Sudan, Salva Kiir, on 30 and 31 October to reinforce this message and to urge him to use his influence with the Sudanese Government.

The Sudanese Government has not yet heeded this international message nor abided by UN Security Council Resolution 1706. We urge it to do so, to bring peace to the long-suffering people of Darfur.