Chemical Weapons and Systematic Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity In Sudan. Sale of Arms To Saudi Arabia and Civilian Deaths in The Yemen – Government Policy Questioned in Parliament. Save the Children report from Yemen.


 

  

Disclaimer:This youtube video of Ali Kosheib, an indicted war criminal and former militia leader in Darfur, boasts about using chemical weapons.  It has not been verified and a credible translation has yet to be provided. However, Amnesty International have issued a report authenticating chemical weapons attacks (see below)

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Letter to The Times October 8th 2016

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Sudan Questions And  Answers – October 2016

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sudan stop the genocidedarfur

Written Questions

Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the role of Iran and North Korea in the building of factories for the production of munitions and weapons in Sudan.   HL2612

Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty’s Government what estimate they have made of the percentage of the gross domestic product of Sudan which is used on (1) its army and security sector; and (2) developing basic infrastructure.   HL2613

Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their estimate of the percentage of the population of Sudan living below the poverty line; how many persons are estimated to be living as refugees or displaced people in Sudan; and what has been the total UK aid funding for Sudan since the State’s creation.   HL2614

Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty’s Government what percentage of the UK aid budget for Sudan is used to promote freedom of religion or belief; and what assessment they have made of the penalties imposed by Sudanese courts if a man or woman exercises their right to change their beliefs.
HL2615

Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to support the international Criminal Court and its work in Sudan.   HL2616

Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty’s Government whether it is their policy to repatriate non-Arab Darfuri asylum seekers from the UK to Khartoum; and what account is taken when making such decisions, of the needs of those who believe that their human rights, especially the right to freedom of religion or belief, will be violated.   HL2617

Question for Short Debate

Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress has been made in securing peace, progress, human rights and good governance in Sudan. (25 October)

Baroness Anelay of St Johns, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL2339):

Question:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what role armed militias play in enforcing Sudan’s commitments under the Khartoum Process; whether they are being used to enforce border controls and to capture migrants; and what action the regime took, under its commitments in the Doha Document for Peace, 2012, to disarm militias. (HL2339)

Tabled on: 17 October 2016

Answer:
Baroness Anelay of St Johns:

We are concerned by the reported use of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to tackle migration in Sudan and have raised these concerns with the government of Sudan, most recently during the visit of the UK Special Representative to Sudan and South Sudan in September. We have also made clear that our cooperation on migration will necessarily be guided by our human rights principles. The EU has also raised the role of the RSF with the government of Sudan and has made absolutely clear that no funding aligned with the Khartoum Process will be provided to them.

The government of Sudan has undertaken some of its disarmament commitments under the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), but together with our international partners we continue to urge them to do more. The UK is a member of the DDPD’s Implementation Follow-Up Commission (IFC), which we use to press for progress on disarmament and other areas of the DDPD’s implementation. The most recent meeting of the IFC was in May 2016.

Date and time of answer: 26 Oct 2016 at 16:01.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL2338):

Question:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what procedures have been put in place to ensure that EU funds committed to the Khartoum Process are not embezzled by corrupt officials; and whether they have investigated whether there has been collusion between Sudanese security officials and human traffickers. (HL2338)

Tabled on: 17 October 2016

Answer:
Baroness Anelay of St Johns:

All EU funds committed to the Khartoum Process are managed by Member States’ Development Agencies or International Organisations. No funding will be channelled through the beneficiary countries’ government structures.

We are deeply concerned by the reports of collusion between Sudanese security officials and human traffickers, and have raised this issue directly with the government of Sudan as part of our wider engagement on migration. The UK is supporting the Sudanese judiciary to implement new anti-trafficking legislation by helping them improve their understanding of both this and the UN Trafficking in Persons Protocol.

Date and time of answer: 26 Oct 2016 at 16:00.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL2336):

Question:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports that ammunition used by Boko Haram in Nigeria is manufactured in Sudan. (HL2336)

Tabled on: 17 October 2016

Answer:
Baroness Anelay of St Johns:

We are not aware of any reports that Sudanese-manufactured ammunition has been used by Boko Haram. We fully support the EU arms embargo on Sudan as well as the UN arms embargo on Darfur.

Date and time of answer: 26 Oct 2016 at 15:53.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL2337):

Question:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they intend to evaluate the use of €46 million earmarked for the Khartoum Process; what benchmarks and agreed criteria have been developed to guide the Process; and what procedures have been put in place to monitor, audit, and review the efficacy of the Process. (HL2337)

Tabled on: 17 October 2016

Answer:
Baroness Anelay of St Johns:

The Khartoum Process does not have a defined single fund, but draws from several different sources of EU funding; including the Better Migration Management Fund and the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.

The UK, as the current Chair of the Khartoum Process, works closely with the Secretariat to maintain a map of current and proposed projects, and ensure effective coordination and monitoring. The European Commission has responsibility for assessing implementation against the Valetta benchmarks and outcomes, and conducting the full audit and review of the EU funding programmes.

Date and time of answer: 26 Oct 2016 at 15:53.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL2335):

Question:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government when the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Sudan Unit and the British Ambassador to the Republic of Sudan last engaged with opposition groups in Sudan, in particular those members of the Sudan Call alliance; and, following the signing of the Sudan Roadmap Agreement, whether a delegation from the Sudan Call alliance will be invited to London in order to deepen political engagement with that group. (HL2335)

Tabled on: 17 October 2016

Answer:
Baroness Anelay of St Johns:

Both the UK Special Representative to Sudan and South Sudan and Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Sudan engage with opposition groups regularly, most recently at a joint meeting with the Sudan Call alliance of opposition groups in Khartoum in September. The UK Special Representative also met with representatives of the National Umma Party, including Sadiq El Mahdi, in Addis Ababa on 23 September. We will continue to develop our relations with these groups both in Sudan and elsewhere.

Date and time of answer: 26 Oct 2016 at 15:52.

 

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Questions answered on October 10th

Baroness Anelay of St Johns, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL1991):

Question:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, when considering trade, diplomatic, political and other bilateral links with the Republic of Sudan, what weight they attach to (1) the Amnesty International report on the use of chemical weapons in Darfur; (2) the Médecins Sans Frontières 2000 report Living Under Aerial Bombardment; (3) the Human Rights Watch 2015 report concerning the use of cluster bombs; (4) reports in 2016 of aerial bombardment in Blue Nile and South Kordofan; and (5) the outstanding warrants for the arrest of Sudanese leaders on genocide charges. (HL1991)

Tabled on: 03 October 2016

Answer:
Baroness Anelay of St Johns:

Our primary focus, in both our political engagement and the work of the Department for International Development, is to support the peaceful development of the country allowing ordinary Sudanese people to have a voice in their future. The first step in this process would be a cessation of hostilities and unrestricted humanitarian access to all areas of the country, including Darfur and the Two Areas of Blue Nile and South Kordofan. We consider all the information at our disposal, including the reports referred to, when assessing the situation on the ground and regularly raise our concerns about violations of human rights and international humanitarian law directly with the government of Sudan, and in international fora where appropriate. We remain a firm supporter of the International Criminal Court and encourage all States to act on its indictments.

Date and time of answer: 11 Oct 2016 at 16:59.

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Baroness Anelay of St Johns, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL1990):

Question:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the Amnesty International report on the use of chemical weapons in Darfur; whether they intend to ask the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to open an investigation; and what representations they have made, or plan to make, to the Sudanese Ambassador to London in the light of that report. (HL1990)

Tabled on: 03 October 2016

Answer:
Baroness Anelay of St Johns:

We are concerned by the allegations of the use of chemical weapons in Sudan and we are aware that the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is looking into these. The use of chemical weapons under any circumstances is contrary to international law and we wholly condemned it. We were also concerned to read the other allegations made in the Amnesty International report, which highlight the need for access to conflict-affected areas. We see ensuring access for the UN/AU Peacekeeping Mission throughout Darfur as the most important next step and have raised this in the context of the report with the Sudanese in London, Khartoum and New York.

Date and time of answer: 11 Oct 2016 at 16:58.


Baroness Anelay of St Johns, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL1989):

Question: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 11 May (HL8212), what steps they are taking to ensure that the human rights of Christian pastors in Sudan are protected, in the light of the ongoing detention of Reverend Hasan Kodi Taour. (HL1989)

Tabled on: 03 October 2016

This question was grouped with the following question(s) for answer:

  1. To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with the government of Sudan about the arrest and continuing detention of Reverend Hasan Kodi Taour, Reverend Kuwa Shamal Kori, Abdelmonim Abdelmawla and Petr Jasek. (HL1988) Tabled on: 03 October 2016

Answer: Baroness Anelay of St Johns:

We are aware that the four men in question remain in detention. Officials from our Embassy in Khartoum were present in court to observe the most recent hearing on 26 September, and are in close contact with the lawyers representing the defendants. We regularly raise our concerns over this case with the government of Sudan, most recently during the visit of the UK Special Representative for Sudan and South Sudan to Khartoum in September. We will continue to monitor this case closely.

More widely, freedom of religion or belief remains a consistent theme in our ongoing human rights dialogue with the government of Sudan. We consistently call on them to ensure all legislation is consistent with the commitment to their citizens in the Interim Constitution of 2005, within which religious freedom is enshrined.

Date and time of answer: 11 Oct 2016 at 16:58.


Baroness Anelay of St Johns, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL1988):

Question: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with the government of Sudan about the arrest and continuing detention of Reverend Hasan Kodi Taour, Reverend Kuwa Shamal Kori, Abdelmonim Abdelmawla and Petr Jasek. (HL1988)

Tabled on: 03 October 2016

This question was grouped with the following question(s) for answer:

  1. To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 11 May (HL8212), what steps they are taking to ensure that the human rights of Christian pastors in Sudan are protected, in the light of the ongoing detention of Reverend Hasan Kodi Taour. (HL1989) Tabled on: 03 October 2016

Answer: Baroness Anelay of St Johns:

We are aware that the four men in question remain in detention. Officials from our Embassy in Khartoum were present in court to observe the most recent hearing on 26 September, and are in close contact with the lawyers representing the defendants. We regularly raise our concerns over this case with the government of Sudan, most recently during the visit of the UK Special Representative for Sudan and South Sudan to Khartoum in September. We will continue to monitor this case closely.

More widely, freedom of religion or belief remains a consistent theme in our ongoing human rights dialogue with the government of Sudan. We consistently call on them to ensure all legislation is consistent with the commitment to their citizens in the Interim Constitution of 2005, within which religious freedom is enshrined.

Date and time of answer: 11 Oct 2016 at 16:58.

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Questions tabled on October 11th 2016.

Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty’s Government:

 

When did the Foreign Office Sudan Unit and the British Ambassador to the Republic of Sudan last engage with opposition groups in Sudan, in particular, Sudan Call, and following Sudan Call’s decision to sign the Sudanese Roadmap Agreement whether their delegation will be invited to London in order to deepen political engagement with them.

 What assessment they have made of reports that ammunition used by Boko Haram in Nigeria is manufactured in Sudan; that Boko Haram buys its weapons from Al-Geneina City, Darfur; and that Boko Haram use Sudan as a transit country to link with Saudi Arabia.

 How they intend to evaluate the use of 46 million Euros earmarked for the Khartoum Process; what benchmarks and agreed criteria have been developed to guide the Khartoum Process; and what procedures have been put in place to monitor, audit, and review the efficacy of the process.

 Whether Sudan remains 165 out of 168 countries in the Transparency International (2015) corruption perceptions index; what procedures have been put in place to ensure that EU funds committed to the Khartoum Process are not embezzled by corrupt officials; and whether they have investigated whether there has been collusion between Sudanese security officials and human traffickers.

 What role do armed militias play in enforcing Sudan’s commitments under the Khartoum Process; whether they are being used to enforce border controls and to capture migrants; and what action the regime took, under its commitments in the Doha Document for Peace, 2012, to disarm militias.    

 How they reconcile their policy of stepped-up engagement with the regime of Omar al Bashir, indicted for genocide by the International Criminal Court, with reports of the regime’s use of chemical weapons, the burning of 170 villages, reports of mass displacement, mass rape, the continued crackdown on civil society, the arrest of dissidents, and the denial of access by humanitarian agencies.

 What percentage of the 640,000 refugees in Sudan in 2015, identified by UNHCR , are Sudanese by origin; from what other countries do these refugees originate;  what consideration is being given to the risks and human rights infringements involved in the repatriation of refugees from Sudan to Eritrea.

 What place does the promotion of democracy and human rights have within the UK’s new “UK-Sudan Strategic Strategy”; why, in the last year,  has there been a reduction in UK and EU statements on grave human rights violations in Sudan;  what factors have led the UK to see Sudan as a reliable partner with a shared agenda; and whether they have considered whether the UK-Sudan Strategic Dialogue will embolden the regime to continue with their current policies.

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 Sudan:  twenty first century genocide 

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Parliamentary Question on the Sale of Arms to Saudi Arabia and the deaths of civilians in Yemen.

13 October 2016

Question

11.35 am

Asked by

  • Lord Alton of Liverpool
  • To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, in the light of the killing of 140 people following a Saudi air strike on a funeral in Yemen, they are reassessing the licensing of United Kingdom weapons sales to Saudi Arabia since the conflict in Yemen began.
  • The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development (Baroness Anelay of St Johns) (Con)
  • My Lords, the UK Government are deeply concerned by the conflict in Yemen, including recent events in Sanaa. As part of the careful risk assessment for the licensing of arms exports to Saudi Arabia, we keep the situation under careful and continued review. All export licence applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the consolidated EU and national arms and export licensing criteria, taking account of all relevant factors at the time of the application.
  • Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB)
  • My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for that reply. Following the deaths of the 140 people attending a funeral last week and the 4,000 civilians who have died in the Yemen and fearful of being indicted for complicity in war crimes, our allies in the United States have ordered a full review of their arms sales policies to Saudi Arabia. Given that the United Kingdom has licensed £3.3 billion of weapons sales to the Saudis since the conflict in the Yemen began, will the Minister explain to us why we are not also having a comprehensive review?
  • Baroness Anelay of St Johns
  • My Lords, as I sought to outline, although I did not go into detail in the first response, we look at these matters thoroughly every single time, so we have consolidated criteria by which we operate every single application. That applies to all export applications, not only to those where it would be at first sight obvious that any material might be involved in conflict. I can add for the noble Lord that my honourable friend Tobias Ellwood, the Minister for the Middle East, has travelled overnight to Saudi Arabia to have meetings with Yemeni and Saudi leaders, including Yemeni President Hadi, as the UK along with others have expressed our concerns over the continuing conflict. Discussions will focus on the air strike on the funeral hall in Sanaa on Saturday and on the attempts to revive the political process.
  • Lord Campbell-Savours (Lab)
  • My Lords, what action will be taken against those civil servants and officials who deliberately misled Ministers into believing that arms being sold by British companies were not being used in the Yemen when they knew the contrary to be true and they were deliberately misleading Ministers? In so far as they cannot be held in contempt, because they did not give that evidence to Select Committees of Parliament, what action will be taken against them?
  • Baroness Anelay of St Johns
  • My Lords, I am not aware that there was a misleading. I am just guessing, but I think that the noble Lord may be referring back to a Written Ministerial Statement in September that sought to correct a series of PQs and Westminster Hall debates about alleged breaches of humanitarian law. The noble Lord shows his assent to my assumption. I read out as a Statement here an Answer to an Urgent Question in another place which made it clear that policy was not changed; the fact was that changes were made to ensure that the parliamentary record was consistent and that it accurately reflects policy. There was no need to change the information that I gave to this House, and I stress that. I am not aware that I have been misled by officials at any time.
  • Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD)
  • My Lords, we welcome Mr Ellwood’s visit to Saudi Arabia. We all understand the dependence of the British arms industry on sales to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf—of course, that dependence can only increase as we leave the European single market and walk away from co-operation in European defence procurement—but the Saudi Government seem to be becoming increasingly sectarian in terms of the split between Sunni and Shia, and Saudi money continues to flow to places such as Pakistan, Indonesia, and Britain to support radical Islamic views, rather than moderate Muslim views. Is it not time that the British Government conducted an overall review of their rather dependent relationship with Saudi Arabia and took more control of it?
  • Baroness Anelay of St Johns
  • My Lords, the noble Lord, with whom I enjoyed working on these matters, always has a really strong global view of issues, and I value that. What I can say is that when we were at the Human Rights Council—I hasten to add that that is not the royal “we”; the UK Government were there and I attended for a week, courtesy of the Chief Whip giving me a slip to do so—we were pleased to be able to reach strong consensus on the Yemen resolution, when a resolution had been brought forward by Saudi Arabia that would have been counterproductive. So there are ways in which the UK can work with the like-minded in places such as the Human Rights Council to focus attention on the need for Saudi Arabia to take account of wider views of its actions.
  • Lord Singh of Wimbledon (CB)
  • My Lords, bomb fragments found at the scene of the funeral carnage were those from an Mk 82 American guided bomb. Saudi Arabia is one of the most barbaric countries in the world, with beheadings, amputations and the enslavement of women, while, at the same time, exporting its medieval version of Islam to neighbouring countries such as Syria, Sudan and Yemen. Can the Minister give me a good reason why the West—principally the United States and ourselves—supplies some £7 billion-worth of arms to Saudi Arabia each year? I might add that boosting our trade by exporting the means of mass killings is not a good reason.
  • Baroness Anelay of St Johns
  • My Lords, we comply with international humanitarian law, but I say strongly that I understand the sense of outrage felt by the noble Lord about the killings being suffered by the people of Yemen. I undertake that the UK will continue to press as strongly as we are able in the diplomatic sphere to achieve a peaceful resolution but, in the meantime, continue the aid that we provide there.

 See the Save The Children Report:

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