Press Notice 14, Session 2004-05

Darfur, Sudan: Crisis, response and lessons

Dr Mukesh Kapila, formerly the UN’s Resident Humanitarian Co-ordinator for the Sudan

The International Development Committee agreed to conduct an inquiry - announced in a press notice dated 16 September (PN41.2003-04) - into the ongoing crisis in Darfur. The Committee is pleased to announce that the following evidence session has now been arranged. This is the fifth oral evidence session to be held by the Committee as part of this inquiry.

Date and venue

Time

Witness

Tuesday 22 February, Committee Room 6, Palace of Westminster

2.30 p.m.

Dr Mukesh Kapila, formerly the UN’s Resident Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sudan

In his role as UN Resident Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan, Dr. Kapila did much to raise awareness of the crisis in Darfur, drawing parallels with the Rwandan genocide a decade earlier. His comments were at the time dismissed by the Government of Sudan as “a heap of lies”. Dr. Kapila left Sudan, 13 months into a 24 month contract, in April 2004.

In Darfur, the crisis continues. The ceasefire is regularly broken, and the resulting insecurity is putting the humanitarian relief effort under great strain. Unless security improves, the displaced millions, unable to plant seeds for this year’s harvest, face a bleak, uncertain, and hungry future. The international community continues to place all its hopes for increasing security with the African Union. The African Union is doing its best and deserves much credit, but - as its slow deployment of forces shows - it is desperately under-resourced.

The inquiry addresses three questions: to what extent has the international community, including the UK, effectively discharged its responsibility to protect the people of Darfur; what lessons need to be learnt from its response; and, what needs to be done now in order to bring peace, security and development to Darfur and to Sudan as a whole?

Please note that starting times may be subject to late changes. Those wishing to attend either of these sessions should contact the Committee Office Information Line on 020 7219 2033 to confirm the venue the day before the hearing, or please have a look at the ‘Future meetings’ section of our website, nearer the day of the meeting.

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Detailed enquiries to Alan Hudson, Committee Specialist: [email protected]

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Further Information:

The membership of the Committee is as follows: Tony Baldry (Chairman) (Conservative), John Barrett (Liberal Democrat), Mr John Battle (Labour), Hugh Bayley (Labour), Mr John Bercow (Conservative), Ann Clwyd (Labour), Mr Tony Colman (Labour), Mr Quentin Davies (Conservative); Mr Piara S. Khabra (Labour), Chris McCafferty (Labour), and Tony Worthington (Labour).

Media Enquiries: Adele Brown, 020 7219 0724 or [email protected]

Committee website: www.parliament.uk/indcom

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