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Sudan: Peace Keeping Operations

Volume 459: debated on Tuesday 1 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the likely levels of co-operation of the Government of Sudan with the UN/AMIS peacekeeping force for Darfur. (134745)

The Government of Sudan have agreed to the Heavy Support Package of United Nations' support to the African Union (AU). But this is only a step towards the joint UN-AU hybrid operation needed to provide protection to Darfur's citizens. The Government of Sudan must agree to the hybrid force and co-operate fully with its implementation. If they do not honour their commitments we are prepared to introduce tougher measures.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will discuss the setting up of an AU-UN force operational within Darfur with the Chinese Government. (134925)

We regularly discuss Darfur with the Chinese Government including at the UN. We want China to use its considerable influence with the Sudanese Government to help ensure Khartoum supports deployment of the joint African Union/UN peacekeeping in Darfur, as well as a ceasefire and renewed political process. We gave this message to the Chinese Government before President Hu’s visit to Africa earlier this year. My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister also raised Darfur on 23 April, during his recent visit to China.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the capacity of the French air force in Chad to monitor a no-fly zone over Darfur. (134930)

We have not made a military assessment of the French air force’s capacity in Chad to monitor a no-fly zone over Darfur. The French military have long-standing ties with Chad and any such measure would also require the Chadian Government’s consent.

We remain deeply concerned by the situation in Darfur. We are discussing new measures in the UN Security Council. They could include measures to allow better air monitoring of the violence in Darfur and the possibility of imposing a no-fly-zone.