Baroness Cox asked the British Government about military offensives against civilians by the Government of Sudan

7 July 2016

Yesterday Baroness Cox asked the British Government for their position regarding continued military attacks on civilians by the Government of Sudan in South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur. You can read Baroness Cox’s questions and the answers below. The full text of the oral question is available as a download at the bottom of the page.


July 6th 2016


Question Asked by Baroness Cox

Baroness Cox

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the current situation in Sudan in the light of continuing military offensives and aerial bombardments by the Government of Sudan on civilians in South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur.


The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns)

My Lords, we are deeply concerned by fighting and aerial bombardments in Sudan. We made it clear in our statement of 27 May, with Troika partners the US and Norway, that the Sudanese Government have a responsibility to protect all their citizens. We welcome the Government’s decision to sign the AU road map and announce a cessation of hostilities in the two areas, which has held so far. It is important that this is extended to the Darfur region.


Baroness Cox

My Lords, in thanking the Minister for that very sympathetic reply, with some signs of hope, may I ask whether she is aware that I have recently visited the people of the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan and seen at first hand the destruction of schools, clinics, markets and places of worship caused by the continuing aerial bombardment of civilians by the Government of Sudan? I have actually entered the snake-infested caves where women and children are forced to hide from those bombs. One lady had recently been bitten by a cobra, and many people are now starving to death. May I therefore ask the Minister what evidence there is of any really significant positive results from the representations that Her Majesty’s Government allegedly make to the Government in Khartoum regarding these continuing de facto genocidal policies in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile?


Baroness Anelay of St Johns

First—I hope this does not sound flippant, because it is not intended to be—may I wish the noble Baroness a very happy birthday? I wish that my present to her could be to say that all the problems had been resolved. What I can say is that there is a firm commitment by the United Kingdom to continue working with the Troika to achieve the best result for all those in Sudan who have been suffering the depredations that she has outlined. It is important that international co-operation achieves a political solution—because, of course, it would not be a military solution that would hold long term. We go into our negotiations and talks across the piece in all these matters, and our support of UNAMID, with our eyes wide open but with determination and understanding.


You can view the proceedings here:

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