Darfur: Rape

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 24 November 2015.

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Photo of Andrew Smith Andrew Smith Labour, Oxford East

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the report by Waging Peace on the use of rape as a weapon of war in the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

We remain acutely concerned by the use of sexual violence in Darfur as set out in this and other reports. It reinforces our policy approach of strong support for the presence of the African Union/United Nations Hybrid Mission operation in Darfur(UNAMID) and the need for the mission to have a strong mandate centred around protection of civilians. As a result, the UK led this year’s renewal of the operation's Mandate to ensure it continues to operate across all the Darfuri states. We will continue to work with the mission, press for robust patrolling and encourage it to engage at the community level. We will also continue to urge the Government of Sudan to cooperate with the operation, and have consistently made clear to them that conditions on the ground must considerably improve before any moves towards the mission’s eventual exit can be made.

At the same time, we continue – both bilaterally and through the UN’s Security and Human Rights Councils - to call on all armed actors to address sexual and gender-based violence in Darfur. The UK played a significant role in the adoption of Security Council Resolution 2242 reflecting the importance of Women, Peace and Security-related issues for the UN family. Bilaterally, we have provided support to over 150 survivors of rape in Darfur and contributed to the successful prosecution of members of the police and armed forces. We will remain active on these issues.

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