To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the situation in the Jebel Mara region of Darfur and the estimate of Médecins du Monde that 100,000 civilians have been displaced and 400 are dead; and what steps they are taking to ensure that (a) the African Union/United Nations Hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID) assesses the humanitarian needs of the civilian population, and (b) aid workers have access to civilians. [HL3195]
The UK Government are extremely concerned about the situation in the Jebel Mara region of Darfur. However, we cannot confirm whether the estimates made by Médecins du Monde (MDM) are accurate. The Government of Sudan, the Sudanese Liberation Army rebel movement and the insecurity in the region have prevented humanitarian agencies from undertaking assessments in the areas where most civilians are thought to have fled.
The UK Government have called upon all parties to cease hostilities immediately and allow humanitarian agencies access to all areas in order to assess the needs of the affected civilian population and provide humanitarian assistance. We are encouraging and supporting the African Union/United Nations Hybrid peacekeeping operation in Darfur (UNAMID) to focus on its primary roles of improving civilian protection and security. The UN's Humanitarian Co-ordinator, Georg Charpentier, is currently in Darfur. We are awaiting his report and will continue to use all opportunities and channels available to us to press all sides to allow humanitarian access.