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Sudan: Peace Keeping Operations

Volume 459: debated on Friday 20 April 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what further measures she plans to support at the UN and within the EU in order to put pressure on Sudan to abide by its agreements and accept the hybrid AU-UN peacekeeping force. (132027)

[holding answer 18 April 2007]: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary chaired a meeting of the UN Security Council on 16 April to take stock of recent international efforts on Darfur, and to make the case for further measures to pressure the Government of Sudan and rebel movements to abide by their agreements. During that meeting she welcomed the announcement by the Government of Sudan the same day accepting deployment of a heavy support package, and called on them to accept the rapid deployment of a full African Union-UN hybrid force, as well as an immediate ceasefire and a resumption of the political process. If they do not, we will be forced to press for tougher measures, including further targeted sanctions and an expansion of the arms embargo.

Following UK lobbying, the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council adopted strong conclusions in January and in March on the need for Sudan to abide by its international obligations. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister wrote to Chancellor Merkel on 21 March to reiterate this ahead of the 25 March European Council. We continue to press the EU to maintain this position.