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Volume 458: debated on Thursday 15 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what contingency plans the Government have drawn up to implement possible international intervention in Darfur. (125697)

There is already substantial international intervention in Darfur. The African Union (AU) has deployed a peacekeeping force and the UN continues to mount its largest humanitarian operation in the world there. The international community is seeking to reinforce the AU force with UN elements, culminating in the creation of a much larger hybrid UN/AU force. And, the AU and UN are working for the resumption of the political process in Darfur.

The Government have been at the forefront of international action on Darfur. We have contributed £190 million to the humanitarian relief effort since April 2004 and £67 million to the AU force. We are pressing the AU and the UN for rapid movement on the political process and on the UN’s military support package.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what timetable the Government have set for progress on the implementation of phase 3 of the international force in Darfur; what further steps she expects to take if deadlines are not met; and if she will make a statement. (125701)

We are pressing the UN and the African Union (AU) to agree as rapidly as possible on the details of phase 3 of the UN’s support package to the AU Mission in Sudan (ie the creation of the hybrid UN/AU force), and to implement it as soon as possible thereafter. If the Government of Sudan fail to co-operate with implementation, the international community will need to consider what measures to take against them in consequence.