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Sudan: Sexual Offences

Volume 475: debated on Wednesday 7 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what reports he has received of the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war in Darfur. (202497)

I have been asked to reply.

John Holmes, UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, briefed the UN Security Council on 22 April that there was evidence of high levels of sexual violence in West Darfur over the past two months.

The UK has called on the Government of Sudan, and the armed groups, to end the human rights abuses in Darfur. We are supporting the rapid and effective deployment of the UN African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) to protect internally displaced persons (IDP) and address the issue of violence against women. UNAMID has increased patrols to protect IDP gathering firewood and increased policing of IDP camps. We have raised with international partners and the UN the need for the police component of UNAMID to be trained on community policing and gender-based violence.