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Volume 455: debated on Wednesday 10 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the military activities of armed groups in eastern Chad; what representations she has received from (a) the UK ambassador to the UN and (b) her counterparts on the Security Council on those activities; and what her most recent assessment is of the security situation in Darfur. (112795)

We are very concerned about the ongoing violence in eastern Chad, both by armed groups spilling over the border from Darfur and by groups internal to Chad. We continue to call on the Governments of Sudan and Chad to stop supporting each others’ rebels and to fulfil their obligations under the Tripoli Agreement.

Our ambassador to the UN met the Chad Foreign Minister on 20 December. He impressed on Chad the need for a resolution of the crisis in Darfur and an improvement in relations between Chad and Sudan, with both countries implementing the Tripoli Agreement in order to improve stability in the region.

We remain in contact with other members of the UN Security Council on the situation in Chad. The UN Secretary-General is due to report to the Security Council shortly on options for an international presence along Chad’s border with Darfur. We will consider his recommendations carefully.

The situation on the ground in Darfur was relatively calm over the last week of December and early January. However, there remains a strong possibility of a resumption of violence after the Eid al Adha holiday and the underlying security problems remain in place.