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Sudan: Armed Conflict

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the scale and nature of arms transfers from Chad to Darfur-based rebel groups; and if he will make a statement. (206027)

We understand that the Governments of Chad and Sudan have been supporting each other's rebels, including through transfers of equipment and arms. Through the UN and EU, and in bilateral contacts, we have called on both governments to fulfil their commitments under the Dakar Agreement of 13 March 2008 and previous agreements to end immediately their support to each other's armed groups.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the situation in Abyei, Sudan on clashes between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army and local militias; and if he will make a statement. (206809)

We are aware of the clashes between the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army and local militias from 14-17 May in Abyei, which resulted in the displacement of approximately 50,000 people from the town. A local cease-fire has been brokered by the UN Mission in Sudan.

My right hon. Friends the Foreign Secretary and the Secretary of State for International Development and my noble Friend the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, the right hon. Lord Malloch-Brown, raised the issue of the disputed border between North and South Sudan during their meetings with the Sudanese Foreign Minister of 28-30 April. They urged the Government of National Unity and the Government of Southern Sudan to engage with the Assessment and Evaluation Commission as a suitable body to broker a resolution for the border disputes.