HC Deb 09 March 2004 vol 418 cc1439-40W
Mr. Drew

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the situation in Darfur in Sudan. [158977]

Mr. Mullin

The situation in Darfur remains very serious. We are particularly concerned by reported attacks on civilians and are appealing to all parties to ensure protection of the civilian population. Although access to some areas is improving, the ability of humanitarian agencies to assist vulnerable populations remains limited. The Department for International Development has contributed over £6 million in response to the crisis in Darfur and is seconding three humanitarian affairs officers to the UN to work in Darfur for three months.

We are urging all parties to re-establish a ceasefire, permit humanitarian access to those in need, and resume talks. To this end we have lobbied at the highest levels in Khartoum, and are in almost daily contact with the Government of Sudan and the Darfur groups. The EU issued a statement expressing its serious concern on 25 February.