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Sudan: Armed Conflict

Volume 461: debated on Tuesday 12 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent estimate has been made of the numbers of (a) internally displaced people, (b) Sudanese refugees and (c) civilian casualties caused by the fighting in Darfur; and if he will make a statement. (141217)

The UN estimates there are 2.1 million people displaced in Darfur and a further 234,000 Darfuris who have sought refuge in neighbouring Chad. No reliable figures exist for civilian casualties. Given the impracticalities of gathering accurate current and past data, it is likely no firm figure will ever be known.

The humanitarian situation in Darfur is extremely fragile. Through the admirable work of aid agencies, the 4 million people dependent on aid in the region have had access to vital assistance and services. The deterioration of the security situation, however, has made this increasingly difficult to sustain. Attacks on humanitarian workers are having a particularly severe impact on getting help to those most in need.

I condemn the continuing violence targeting civilians and humanitarian workers in Darfur and I call on all sides to cease the violence immediately, renew the ceasefire and political process and accept the AU/UN peacekeeping force for Darfur.