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Volume 716: debated on Tuesday 5 January 2010


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will make representations to the Government of Sudan about the recent arrests of opposition leaders in Khartoum. [HL848]

We were very concerned by arrests on 7 December 2009 of those involved in a peaceful demonstration in Khartoum. The demonstration had been organised by the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) and other northern opposition parties. Violence was used against some of the protestors. We understand that those arrested were released shortly afterwards.

I issued a joint statement with my honourable friend the Minister of State for the Department for International Development on 15 December 2009 about developments in Sudan. It expressed concern at the disruption of peaceful protest and underlined the importance of political rights as well as implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). The statement is available here:

During the week of 7 December 2009, the UK Special Representative for Sudan and British Ambassador met senior members of the National Congress Party (NCP) and SPLM in Khartoum, including Presidential Adviser Ghazi Salah Eddin, Foreign Minister Deng Alor, Vice-President of South Sudan Riek Machar, and Pagan Amum SPLM Secretary General. They also met a number of opposition party leaders.

In all these meetings we urged restraint on all sides, underlined the importance of political dialogue and warned against unilateral steps by any party. We also reiterated the priority the UK attached to full implementation of the CPA.