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Questions for Written Answers:
1) Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Sudan: Politics and Government (30 Nov 2017)
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, with reference to the commitment in a letter to the APPG on Sudan and South Sudan by the Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Rory Stewart MP, dated 23 August to “support Sudan to achieve sustainable peace, an improved human rights situation and political reform”, how they define “political reform”; and what steps they propose to take to promote such reform.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:
Our priorities for political reform in Sudan include improving civil and political freedoms, opening space for freedoms of religion or belief, tackling sexual and gender-based violence, and increasing respect for the rule of law and international humanitarian law. We will support steps towards a free, fair, and credible election in 2020, including greater freedom of assembly and organization for political parties, and increase media freedoms.
We will continue to engage with the government of Sudan at all levels, including through the UK-Sudan Dialogue, to promote these objectives.
2) Sudan: Peace Negotiations (30 Nov 2017)
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, with reference to the letter from the Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Rory Stewart MP, to the APPG on Sudan and South Sudan dated 23 August, how they propose to “press for a genuine, inclusive and transparent National Dialogue process in Sudan”, given that the provision in the Road Map Agreement to hold a preparatory meeting with the opposition to discuss how to make the National Dialogue was not taken forward and that President Bashir proceeded to close the National Dialogue in October 2016.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:
We have welcomes the government of Sudan’s stated readiness to keep the National Dialogue process open for other groups to join, after October 2016. The UK has continued to call for a National Dialogue that is inclusive, genuine, and Sudanese-led, and has encouraged all sides to engage constructively to the end.
We have also supported the efforts of the chair of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) and the chief mediator of the Road Map, President Thabo Mbeki, to an inclusive way, and to convince the opposition to resume their participation constructively, in keeping with the spirit of the agreement.
3) Sudan: Peace Negotiations (30 Nov 2017)
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to invite the Sudan Call opposition alliance to visit the UK to discuss the peace process; whether UK engagement with opposition forces in Sudan is limited to those parties based in Khartoum; and what is their level of structured discussion with Sudan Call in comparison to that held with the government of Sudan.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:
The British Government has no plans to invite the Sudan Call alliance to visit the UK. We have continued to promote and encourage conflict resolution and dialogue through our role in the Troika, engaging regularly with both the government of Sudan and with opposition groups from across the country.
We continue to give financial and political support to the African Union High-Level Implementation Plan to mediate ongoing peace talks, and welcome the signing of the Roadmap Agreement by the Government of Sudan and the Sudan Call alliance. Most recently, the UK Special Representative to Sudan, with his Troika counterparts, met with representatives of Sudan Call during a visit to Khartoum on 7 to 8 November.
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News Round Up – the top stories from this week’s news in our partners’ countries.
Pope Silent On Ethnic Cleansing in Burma: As the pontiff meets Myanmar’s president, as well as leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Sky’s special correspondent Alex Crawford has gained access to somewhere he will not be allowed to see: a camp where hundreds of Rohingya fear for their lives.
Myanmar’s Crackdown on Rohingya Is Ethnic Cleansing: The Trump administration declared on Wednesday that Myanmar’s brutal crackdown on its Rohingya minority constituted “ethnic cleansing,” a long-anticipated designation that will open the door to sanctions against the country’s military commander and intensify pressure on its civilian leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
Silver lining in Northeast Nigeria Crisis: Since the start of the conflict in 2009, more than 20,000 people have been killed, thousands of women and girls abducted and children used as “suicide” bombers. This year alone more than 110 children have been used as “human bombs” by the group known as Boko Haram, being forced to don vests or belts packed with explosives and blow themselves up in a crowd.
Suspected herdsmen kill seven policemen in Adamawa: No fewer than seven policemen were feared killed on Thursday night in Dowaya Village, Numan Local Council of Adamawa State while trying to repel an attack by suspected armed herdsmen.
South Sudan: Humanitarian Access Snapshot: Humanitarian partners continued to face access challenges in multiple locations across South Sudan. Out of the 116 access incidents reported, 60 involved violence against personnel or assets.
South Sudan implements a roadmap to introduce and institutionalize National Health Accounts: The Ministry of Health (MoH) with support from the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners has commenced the implementation of a roadmap to introduce and institutionalize National Health Accounts (NHA) in South Sudan.
Sudan: American Business Delegation Visits Sudan: Sudan and the United States are to begin talks in Khartoum on Monday in various fields including economy, investment, minerals, health, and telecommunications.
Digital solutions sought for challenges faced by refugees in Uganda: Uganda hosts refugees from the neighbouring countries such as South Sudan, Burundi Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda
Uganda’s Museveni creates two top military posts: Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has created a new position of Deputy Commander Land Forces in the latest mini army reshuffle.