Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:31 pm on 9th June 2004.

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Photo of Sally Keeble Sally Keeble Labour, Northampton North 12:31 pm, 9th June 2004

I congratulate my right hon. Friend on the action that he has taken, which is extremely important and will make a real difference to the lives of many people. I spent a week in southern Sudan last month looking at some of the problems and I was strongly lobbied about actions in the Shilluk kingdom that have been similar to those in Darfur, but on a smaller scale.

Based partly on that experience, and partly on information that my right hon. Friend has provided, I urge three things on him. First, will he continue to put maximum pressure on the Sudan Government, who have at worst fomented, and at best permitted, some of the devastation? Secondly, will he look urgently at the UN's capacity to deal with the crisis? From what I saw, it does not have the kind of resources needed to deal with the scale of the problem. Thirdly, I urge him to ensure that we consistently fund the rebuilding of Sudan, both to deal with the humanitarian problems and to enable local capacity building for the transition to peace. In the long term, what is happening in Darfur and the rest of Sudan will be resolved only if there is a lasting peace so that people can start to rebuild their lives, and some of the awful wrongs and sufferings can be put right.