October 29th, 2013
Baroness Cox asks what the British government’s response is to recent developments in Sudan.
Yesterday, in the House of Lords, Baroness Cox asked the British Government ‘what is their response to recent developments in the Republic of Sudan?’
In September protests in Sudanese cities over increasing fuel prices were violently suppressed, resulting in the deaths of at least 200 people. While in Blue Nile State and the Nuba Mountains half a million civilians have been displaced by the Sudan Armed Force’s (SAF) continued aerial bombardment. Baroness Kinock raised the issue of Darfur, where after 10 years of conflict, violence is increasing while UNAMID’s presence is being reduced. Lord Avebury highlighted Abyei, where delay in holding a referendum has resulted in the Ngok Dinka proposing to hold their own, and where increased SAF presence is a cause for concern.
Baroness Warsi replied on behalf of the government that ‘we feel that the best responses are, first, through UN peacekeeping; secondly, through humanitarian assistance; and thirdly, through concerted international efforts led by the African Union, all aspects of which are supported by the British Government.’
Lord Triesman likened this response to ‘inviting any violent dictator to think about his behaviour and mend his ways—it is unlikely to create the outcome sought.’ Asking, ‘is not the truth of this, whether we are talking about Abyei or anything else happening in Sudan, that Omar al-Bashir is wanted for war crimes?’
Baroness Cox pointed out that ‘the scale of suffering in Sudan is second only to that in Syria’, and asked ‘would the Minister agree that the time is long overdue for really robust measures to be taken to stop the impunity with which Khartoum is continuing to slaughter, terrorise and cause suffering to its own people?’
Read the full debate here.
Watch the full debate here at 15.05.30
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