Children seek refuge from aerial bombardment in a cave in the Nuba Mountains

Sudan debated in the House of Lords

December 10th, 2014

Sudan debated in the House of Lords

On Tuesday, 9th December, Baroness Cox raised an Oral Question in the House of Lords on the human rights situation in Sudan. 

Lady Cox asked Her Majesty’s Government “what is their assessment of recent developments in the Republic of Sudan”.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office) responded on behalf of the Government, stating: “My Lords, we are deeply concerned about the ongoing conflicts in Sudan. Reports of aerial bombardments in South Kordofan and in Blue Nile, and the lack of access for the United Nations to investigate allegations of mass rape in Darfur, are especially worrying. We welcome efforts to secure ceasefires and moves towards a political solution, including the peace talks mediated by President Mbeki, and support a comprehensive, inclusive and transparent national dialogue.”

In her response, Baroness Cox asked whether the Minister was aware that she has “seen Government of Sudan Antonov bombers deliberately targeting hospitals, schools, markets and civilians trying to harvest their crops, forcing hundreds of thousands to hide in snake-infested caves, river beds and woods or to flee into exile in South Sudan and Ethiopia?”

She then cited a recent report by the Enough Project (available here), which states that such systematic attacks on civilians and the Sudanese Government’s aid blockade lay the foundation for a case of crimes against humanity by extermination. Baroness Cox emphasised that “All this is happening with impunity. What actions are Her Majesty’s Government taking to challenge this impunity?” 

Baroness Anelay replied, stating that “We press the Government of Sudan to hold all perpetrators of human rights violations fully to account for their actions. Impunity must not be accepted.”

Other peers contributing to the debate asked about the situation of Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia, the impact of cuts in the Sudan Unit of the FCO, the influence of the Republic of China and the arrests of members of the Sudanese opposition.

Download the full text of the debate, and HART’s briefing for Parliamentarians, below. 

Read more about the situation in Sudan and the work of HART’s partners here

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