To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received of levels of (a) government troops and (b) rebel movement forces in southern Darfur; what assessment he has made of the potential effects of changes in such levels on the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement; and if he will make a statement.
We are aware, through UN reporting, that numbers of Justice and Equality Movement forces have increased throughout Darfur in recent weeks. Darfur remains sovereign Sudanese territory and a Government of Sudan garrison is present throughout. We do not monitor either the level of Sudanese military deployment, or rebel force movement other than in the context of assessing the security threat to the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur and the general status of the various peace processes ongoing in the region.
Any increase in both Government of Sudan and rebel troop levels would be of concern as it could lead to increased levels of tension, which would hamper ongoing efforts to secure peace and stability in Sudan, particularly with regard to the comprehensive peace agreement.