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Sudan: Darfur

House of Lords written question – answered on 4th May 2004.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have received evidence from Darfur, western Sudan, that rape is being used as a weapon of war; and what is their reponse to the comments of the United Nations co-ordinator, Mukesh Kapila, that the situation is comparable to the Rwandan genocide.

Photo of Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean Minister of State (Middle East), Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Minister of State (Middle East)

I refer the noble Lord to the answer I gave him on 19 April (Official Report, Cols. WA 2–3).

We have received alarming reports of systematic clearing of areas in Darfur based on the ethnic origin of the population in those areas. Civilians have been targeted. We have made clear that reported attacks directed against civilians, including rape, should be thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice. A five-person team from the Office of the UN High Commission for Human Rights is in Darfur to investigate reports of serious human rights violations. We await their report. But the situation in Darfur is very different to that of Rwanda in 1994.

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