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Volume 453: debated on Tuesday 28 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions she has held on the provision of peace keeping troops in Darfur with (a) the African Union and (b) the United Nations; and what (i) support, (ii) advice and (iii) resources she is willing to provide to that end. (101753)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development attended a high-level meeting on the future of the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) in Addis Ababa on 16 November. The meeting was co-chaired by the African Union (AU) and UN, and reached consensus on plans to increase UN support to AMIS over three phases.

The first phase is a light package of support for command and control, logistics and planning. The second phase will enhance infrastructure, military and police training, ground and air assets. The third phase, agreed in principle, will involve a joint AU/UN peace-keeping operation of up to 17,000 plus 3,000 police.

The UK continues to support AMIS. We have given £20 million this year, taking the total UK contribution to £52 million. We also provide both Military Observers and Civilian Police to AMIS through the EU. The 16 November meeting agreed on the need for UN funding for the force in Darfur. Assuming such funding came from assessed contributions, the UK would be liable for 7.4 per cent. of the total.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made in the extension of the UN arms embargo to cover the whole of the Sudan; and if she will make a statement. (101958)

The UK strongly supported UN Security Council Resolution 1591 which imposed an arms embargo on Darfur. There are no current proposals to extend this embargo to the rest of Sudan.

However, the UK is a leading proponent of Security Council action to help improve the appalling situation in Darfur. With our Security Council partners we will consider all options, including further measures, which may help achieve this.

In addition we are working with partners to ensure that the existing arms embargo is more effective. We are providing additional resources to the African Union and the UN Sanctions Panel of Experts whose combined responsibility it is to implement and monitor the embargo.