Press release

Minister for Africa discusses Darfur with Sudanese Foreign Minister

Mark Simmonds discussed Darfur and the National Dialogue with Sudanese Foreign Minister Karti on 28 April.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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The Minister for Africa called Sudanese Foreign Minister Karti to raise our concerns about the conflict and humanitarian crisis in Darfur and to discuss the National Dialogue. He urged the Government of Sudan to rein in its military, who are accused of targeting civilians in Darfur. He welcomed the Sudanese government’s call for National Dialogue, while making clear that it needed to meet the President’s stated commitment to a fully transparent process that embraces all Sudanese citizens.

Speaking after the call, the Minister for Africa said:

The people of Sudan desperately need to see change in the way they are governed. I therefore informed Foreign Minister Karti that I welcomed President Bashir’s call for a comprehensive and inclusive National Dialogue. Sudan now needs a comprehensive process that embraces all members of society and all political groupings. We hope all Sudanese will feel able to participate and be heard. I informed Minister Karti that the UK was ready to support, including in practical ways, a genuinely transparent and inclusive National Dialogue.

I made it clear to Foreign Minister Karti that the prospects for a successful and inclusive National Dialogue are being undermined by the wholly unacceptable actions of the government’s Rapid Support Forces in Darfur, as stated in UN reports which include violence against civilians, acts of rape and the looting and burning of houses. I urged the government to rein these forces in and allow full access to humanitarian agencies and full access and mobility for UN forces to allow them to do their work of helping ordinary Sudanese civilians affected by the conflict. I also condemned the violent actions of armed opposition groups which have led to civilian casualties and displacement.

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Published 1 May 2014