Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 16th October 2006.

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Photo of David Drew David Drew Labour, Stroud

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will make a statement on attacks on civilians in internally displaced people's camps in Darfur.

Photo of Ian McCartney Ian McCartney Minister of State (Trade & Investment), Department of Trade and Industry, Minister of State (Trade & Investment), Foreign & Commonwealth Office

We are appalled at the continuing attacks against internally displaced persons in Darfur. There are credible reports of assault, robbery, physical and sexual abuse. Incidents of rape are also increasing due to the rising presence of armed militia.

We utterly condemn these acts of violence. Together with our EU, African Union (AU) and UN Security Council partners, we are pressing all sides to stop the fighting; to agree to the deployment of a UN force in Darfur; to co-operate in bolstering the AU in the interim; to commit to and implement the Darfur Peace Agreement; and to ensure full humanitarian access for the UN and non-governmental organisations in Darfur. It is through these actions that we will start to see a sustainable improvement in the protection of the vulnerable populations of Darfur. Achieving them is a top priority for the Government and one for which we are seeking to build the widest possible coalition of support.

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