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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Government of Sudan concerning its use of arrest of civilians in Darfur on the basis that they are helping the Sudan Liberation Army. [222392]

Mr. MacShane: We make frequent representations to the Government of Sudan on the need for it to abide by international humanitarian and human rights law. We have stressed the need to stop arbitrary arrests as part of this commitment.

We continue to make clear to the Government of Sudan and the rebel factions that they must respect the ceasefire in Darfur, and fulfil their commitments under the Abuja Humanitarian and Security Protocols. They must take all steps to prevent attacks, threats, intimidation and any other form of violence, including arbitrary arrests, against civilians by any party or group.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Government of Sudan on the use of torture. [222393]

Mr. MacShane: We have frequent discussions, both bilaterally and as part of the EU-Sudan dialogue, with the Government of Sudan on the need for it to abide by international humanitarian and human rights law, including by ratifying and implementing the UN Convention Against Torture. Most recently, we raised our concerns about human rights violations in Sudan, including torture, as part of the EU-Sudan human rights dialogue on 24 February and during the EU-Sudan political dialogue on 3 March.

We are providing £180,000 over three years to support the work of the Sudanese Organisation Against Torture which works to support victims of torture, challenge legal impunity and raise human rights awareness.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the UN's recent estimate of the number of deaths in Darfur; and how many of those he estimates were killed by (a) ethnic violence, (b) malnutrition and (c) disease. [222996]

Mr. MacShane [holding answer 18 March 2005]: The UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Co-ordinator, Jan Egeland, has said that he estimates that 180,000 people have died in Darfur from disease and malnutrition over the last 18 months. We share his grave concerns about the situation in Darfur and elsewhere in Sudan. Insecurity prevents
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regular access to the worst affected areas, inhibiting accurate assessment, and there are, therefore, no reliable mortality figures at this time.

We recognise the need for more accurate data so the UK is funding a second survey by the World Health Organisation in conjunction with the Sudanese Ministry of Health. This will commence at the end of April.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of whether the situation in Darfur constitutes genocide. [222997]

Mr. MacShane [holding answer 18 March 2005]: The UK pressed for the establishment of an expert International Commission of Inquiry (ICI) by the UN to investigate the atrocities in Darfur, and determine whether genocide had been committed. The ICI's report, issued to the UN Security Council on 31 January, concluded that, while the Government of Sudan had not pursued a policy of genocide in Darfur, a competent court would need to decide whether certain individuals had done so, and that the Government of Sudan, the Arab militias and the rebels are all guilty of serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law, which may amount to crimes against humanity and/or war crimes.

We have consistently made clear that the perpetrators of these terrible crimes must be brought to justice. The UN Security Council is united in its determination that there can be no impunity for these crimes. We continue to discuss the way forward with our partners in the Security Council.

Sustainable Development

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the (a) G8 and (b) EU are taking to promote sustainable development, with particular reference to (i) climate change and (ii) Africa. [222969]

Mr. MacShane: 2005 is an important year for the global community to take action on climate change and on Africa in the context of sustainable development. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister is committed to using the opportunity offered by our twin presidencies of the EU and G8 to make real progress.

The review of the EU's sustainable development strategy provides the EU with the opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to promoting sustainable development and tackling climate change in the context of the re-launched Lisbon strategy. But this is just one element of the EU's climate change strategy: implementation of the EU emissions trading scheme is helping the EU to meet its Kyoto targets; on future action, the EU will be seeking to reinvigorate international dialogue under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Engaging countries beyond the EU will be a vital part of this. The G8 too is firmly focused on climate change. The UK presidency of the G8 aims to build on past G8 initiatives, including on technology development, by promoting a broader understanding of the challenges of addressing climate change.
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On Africa, the EU is the world's largest provider of aid to the region and an important trade partner. It is working to provide a sustainable response to the recommendations of the Commission for Africa, and to ensure that the millennium development summit gives new impetus to action on sustainable development and climate change in order to tackle global poverty and achieve the millennium development goals. The G8 is working to agree a comprehensive plan of specific actions to address the complex and inter-linked problems of Africa. This plan will build on the work of the Kananaskis G8 Africa Action Plan, the Commission for Africa, the African Union and the New Partnership for Africa's Development.


Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many treason suspects are on remand in Uganda; what the nature is of the charges; whether the suspects are linked to political parties; and if he will make a statement. [222500]

Mr. Mullin: We have asked the Uganda Human Rights Commission for an estimate of numbers, grounds and political affiliation of those being detained on treason charges. I will write to my hon. Friend as soon as we get this information.

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the strength of the (a) Uganda People's Defence Forces and (b) Ugandan Presidential Protection Brigade; how many different security organisations are operating in Uganda; what technical assistance the UK gives to each organisation; and if he will make a statement. [222501]

Mr. MacShane: All military organisations, including the Uganda Army, Air Force, National Police Air Wing, and Marines, are considered as part of the Uganda Peoples' Defence Force (UPDF). The UPDF assessed strength is around 50,000.
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There are four main security organisations; the Internal Security Organisation, External Security Organisation, the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence and Special Branch. We have urged the Ugandan Government to put these organisations onto a firm statutory basis so as to allow proper public and Parliamentary scrutiny of their activities. We are providing no technical assistance to any of them.

The Department for International Development has provided approximately £0.2 million to support the Uganda Defence Review process and approximately £2.5 million in non-military assistance for conflict resolution efforts in northern and eastern Uganda.

I also refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Portsmouth, South (Mr. Hancock) on 16 March 2005 Official Report, column 346W.

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his estimate is of the proportion of Uganda's national budget that is spent on (a) health, (b) education, (c) agriculture and (d) defence; and if he will make a statement. [222502]

Mr. MacShane: Figures from the 2003–04 approved budget (including donor funded projects) are:

Uganda has a well-developed and consultative budgetary process. Donors are involved throughout, and have an opportunity to endorse the budget at the annual Public Expenditure Review. This level of consultation allows partners, including the UK, to ensure government meets its commitment to prioritise poverty reduction. Budget execution is generally good and closely monitored by government and donors, including the International Financial Institutions. Our Poverty Reduction Budget Support, and that of other partners such as the World Bank, is conditional on our endorsement of the budget and its subsequent execution.