South Sudan: Armed Conflict

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 13th June 2022.

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Photo of Baroness Cox Baroness Cox Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the escalation of conflict in the Abyei Administrative Area since March.

Photo of Baroness Cox Baroness Cox Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports of recent incidents of (1) gender-based violence, and (2) missing children, in the Abyei Administrative Area.

Photo of Baroness Cox Baroness Cox Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to address the resource constraints of major aid organisations, including the World Food Programme, operating in the Abyei Administrative Area.

Photo of Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The Minister for Africa is concerned at recent violence in Abyei, including reports of gender-based violence and missing children. We expressed our concerns at the violence at the UN Security Council on 21 April and underscored the continued need for the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), mandated to provide protection of civilians and facilitate delivery of humanitarian aid. Over the past year, the UN Security Council has ensured that UNISFA's mandate better equips the mission to respond quickly to security incidents and to place greater emphasis on community engagement.

We are working with the UN and the humanitarian community in Sudan and South Sudan to address humanitarian needs in Abyei. As part of this, in 2021 we contributed £27 million to the humanitarian response in Sudan via partners, including the World Food Programme. This year in South Sudan we will reach 2 million people with some form of humanitarian assistance and support 400,000 girls to access education, including in the Abyei region. We also continue to call on the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to allow humanitarian actors to deliver aid to those in need in all parts of Abyei, without hindrance.

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