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On Wednesday 4th March 2015, Baroness Cox asked Her Majesty’s Government of their assessment of the continuing genocide in Sudan.
In reply to the question, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for International Development Baroness Northover said:
“My Lords, recent developments in Sudan’s conflict zones are deeply concerning. Continued attacks on civilian populations, including in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, are entirely unacceptable. We continue to support the mediation work of President Mbeki’s AU panel and to emphasise to all sides that the only resolution to these conflicts is through political dialogue, not military means.”
Baroness Cox responded to the Government’s answer by highlighting HART’s recent visit to Sudan and South Sudan and the following report which details the aerial bombardment campaign against civilians in South Kordofan and Blue Nile:
“My Lords, I thank the Minister for her reply. Is she aware that I recently visited Blue Nile state and witnessed first hand the devastating effects of the Government of Sudan’s escalating aerial bombardment, which deliberately targets schools, hospitals, markets and people trying to grow crops? People cannot grow food and many hundreds have died of starvation. The bombers now come equipped with search-lights so that they can kill by night as well as by day. Over half a million people have fled their homes and are hiding in snake-infested caves, in river banks and under trees. What are Her Majesty’s Government actually doing to call the Government of Sudan to account and end the impunity with which they are perpetrating this de facto genocide?”
Baroness Northover emphasized the Government’s continuing efforts to press the Government of Sudan to cease these attacks on civilians under their international obligations. Her Majesty’s Government has also raised the issue with the Security Council and the Human Rights Council.
Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead asked Her Majesty’s Government over the Security Council’s response to the recent Human Rights Watch report on mass rape in Darfur and the overall insecurity and impunity current in Sudan. Baroness Northover‘s reply noted the presence of the UN independent expert on human rights in Sudan and the challenging situation with pressing the Sudanese Government to uphold human rights and the rule of law.
Other Peers from the House of Lords showed their support and joined in the debate stressing the need to hold al-Bashir accountable for the crimes committed in Sudan.
Download the full HART Visit Report to Sudan and South Sudan below.