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17 December 2004

Local MP Takes Part in Sudan Inquiry

A major parliamentary inquiry into the crisis facing Sudan has begun with MPs, including local MP John Barrett, questioning the Secretary of State for International Development.

The region of Darfur in Sudan has been as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.  Over 1 million Sudanese people have been forced to flee their homes and over 50,000 people have been killed so far in attacks that some have described as genocide.  Despite a peace agreement signed between the Sudan’s Government and rebels, the violence has continued.

The House of Commons International Development Committee, which includes John Barrett, announced in September that it would be conducting an in depth inquiry into how the international community, including the UK Government, responded to the crisis.  That inquiry began this week with evidence taken from Cabinet Minister, Hilary Benn and senior members of charity group, Action Aid.

Sudan

Speaking after the first evidence session, Mr Barrett said:

“The peace agreement signed between the Sudan Government and rebel groups was a welcome step forward and gave everyone cause for optimism.  However, in the short time since the agreement was made, we have seen yet more violence against innocent people inSudan.

“The crisis in Sudan is now one of the most serious and distressing issues facing the World.  With so many people killed and injured, it is absolutely right that Parliament investigates what has happened and what action our own Government has taken.  The International Development Secretary’s evidence was very useful but there is still much more work for the Committee to do and more issues for us to investigate.”

The Committee will take further evidence from witnesses over the coming weeks.

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Sudan

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This website was established while I was a Member of Parliament. The site content is being kept online as a source of information, but all forms / email have been disabled.