Sudan

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:41 am on 13th June 2019.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Chair, Committee on Exiting the European Union 10:41 am, 13th June 2019

The announcement by special envoy Mahmoud Dirir that talks may resume is of course welcome, but I want to focus on the point raised by the former International Development Secretary, Mr Mitchell. The terrible violence has an awfully familiar ring to those of us who had to deal with the tragedy in Darfur, because the traditional response of the Sudanese state is to deploy forces to crack down on those whom they wish to oppose.

There has been such a considerable difference between assessments of the number of people killed. I think the authorities claim that it is about 61 but, as we have heard, according to reports from other sources, including doctors, it is double that. There have also been reports of rape, and of bodies being thrown into the Nile. Did I understand the Minister to say that she thought that UNAMID could play a role in investigating all these atrocities, including those in Khartoum? If that is the case, and if there is support from both the African Union —which plays a very important role—and the United Nations, I think the whole House would support it as well, because we need the evidence in order to hold people to account. The tragedy in Sudan and Darfur is that far too many people have got away with far too much.