Skip to main content

Sudan: Overseas Aid

Volume 473: debated on Wednesday 12 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of UN claims that the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) is blocking humanitarian access to the Jabel Moun area of Darfur; what reports his Department has received on possible negotiations between the JEM and the Government of Sudan; and if he will make a statement. (192660)

While we understand humanitarian agencies are still unable to access the Jebel Moun area, we cannot confirm whether they are barred at the behest of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) or because of continuing fighting between JEM forces and the Sudanese armed forces. We are not aware of negotiations between JEM and the Government of Sudan but mediators from the African Union and the UN are talking to rebel groups in and outside Darfur, including JEM, to press them to end hostilities and agree on common platforms for negotiations with the Government of Sudan.

My right hon. Friends the Foreign Secretary and the Secretary of State for International Development, in a joint statement of 27 February, called on all parties to stop the violence; to allow immediate humanitarian access; to protect civilians; and to facilitate the deployment of the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur.