Sudan: Human Rights

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 7th January 2010.

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Photo of Keith Simpson Keith Simpson Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment has been made of the human rights situation in South Sudan; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Ivan Lewis Ivan Lewis Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

As a result of tribal fighting, more people have died this year in South Sudan than in Darfur. This, and attacks by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) displaced more than 300,000 people-more than double the number from 2008. The Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) face several challenges which include the worsening humanitarian situation as well as security issues, corruption and the mismanagement of food stocks.

Our ambassador met with the Southern Sudan Human Rights Commission in June to assess human rights issues, including the death penalty, women's rights, access to justice and the standard of detention facilities. Our ambassador also meets regularly with the GoSS President and Ministers to discuss citizen insecurity and LRA issues. The UK also works with the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) and other international partners to secure peace so that human rights can be protected in Southern Sudan.

My noble Friend Baroness Kinnock will give a further assessment of developments in Sudan during a debate in the Lords today, 7 January 2010.

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