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Lord Avebury (Liberal Democrat)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what training or other forms of assistance to Sudan they have provided already, and plan to provide in 2013, to (1) the Armed Forces, (2) military intelligence, (3) national intelligence, and (4) security forces of Sudan.

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Lord Astor of Hever (Conservative)

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) provides a limited programme of defence education to officers from the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF). This is funded by the Africa Conflict Pool Programme (ACPP) and represents the MoD contribution to wider UK efforts to promote stability, accountability and good governance in Sudan in line with the Building Stability Overseas Strategy. The intent is to encourage security sector reform and improve respect for human rights, professionalism, and governance and accountability mechanisms within the armed forces. This has been matched by a similar programme in South Sudan as part of a balanced approach to defence engagement which has directly enabled the UK to play a central role in support of African Union-led efforts to prevent further conflict between the two countries.

In this financial year, five SAF officers have or will attend courses in the UK. These include a place at the Royal College of Defence Studies, a place on the advanced command and staff course, basic officer training, and a place on the managing defence in the wider security context course at the UK Defence Academy. This course examines approaches to the governance and management of defence in developed and transitional democracies.

A condensed version of the wider security context course is also delivered in Khartoum, as is a Defence Academy-delivered course focused on strategic leadership. A small number of places on these courses are offered to students from military intelligence, national intelligence, the security forces and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of a cross-government approach to encouraging improved governance and accountability within the Sudanese security sector.

Through the British Council, we also deliver English language teaching (ELT) at the Sudanese Staff College. This improves SAF ability to communicate with the United Nations missions in Sudan and provides a medium for education on topics such as international humanitarian law. ELT also improves interoperability with neighbouring countries, and is intended to encourage Sudan to play a more positive regional role through participation in east African regional security architecture.

The programme of activity for 2013 is still being determined, but we expect to bring fewer officers back to the UK, and deliver more bespoke education in country on issues such as democratic governance, human rights and the law of armed conflict.

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