§ Angus Robertson
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he first received reports of Janjaweed activity in Darfur; when he first raised the question of Janjaweed activities in Darfur with his counterpart in Khartoum; what assurances were then sought; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Mullin
Attempts by the Government of Sudan to recruit militias, as part of their response to the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) uprising, was first reported on 12 May 2003. The tern "Janjaweed" was first used by the British Government on 8 September 2003, following its use at negotiations in Abeche. However, different groups use the terns rather loosely to mean different things. The Government of Sudan understand it to mean "bandits"; whereas displaced persons will use it for almost any armed Arab on horseback.
We have been raising with the Government of Sudan their response to the SLA since May 2003. In May of this year the Sudanese Minister of Foreign Affairs visited London. During his visit my right hon. Friends the Foreign Secretary, the Secretary of State for International Development and I all raised the need for the Sudanese Government to disarm the militias and protect their civilians from the human rights atrocities that have been taking place. When the Foreign Secretary travelled to Khartoum and Darfur at the end of August he re-iterated this need to both the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Sudanese President.
§ Mr. Ancram
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions concerning the situation in Darfur his Department has had with officials from(a) the Sudanese embassy in London and (b) Sudanese Government officials in Khartoum between 22 July and 7 September; and on what dates, and where, these discussions took place. 1549W
§ Mr. Straw
We are in regular touch with the Sudanese authorities, both through our embassy in Khartoum and the joint Department for International Development/Foreign and Commonwealth Office Sudan Unit in London. During the period specified, the main contacts included26 July—the British ambassador in Khartoum met Naguib El Kheir, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.29 July—the UK Special Representative for Sudan met the Sudanese ambassador in London.2–3 August—the UK Special Representative for Sudan visited Sudan. Those he met included Saddiq al Mahdi (Umma Party), Yahya Hussein (Minister at the Presidency), Mohamed Yousef (Minister of Humanitarian Affairs), Qutbi Al Mahdi (Presidential Political Adviser), Mustafa Ismail (Foreign Minister).6 August—the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Africa Director met the Sudanese ambassador in London.12 August—the UK Charge d'Affaires in Khartoum attended the UN/Government of Sudan Joint Implementation Mechanism with Jan Pronk, UN Secretary General's Special Representative (UNSR) and EU ambassadors and Dr. Mustafa Osman Ismael, the Sudanese Foreign Minister and his team.16 August—the UK Charge d'Affaires in Khartoum met Dr. Awad E1 Jaz, the Sudanese Minister of Energy and Mining18 August—the UK Charge d'Affaires in Khartoum attended a meeting at the Foreign Ministry with the International Organisation for Migration Mission19 August—the UK Charge d'Affaires in Khartoum attended the Joint Implementation Mechanism at the Foreign Ministry with Jan Pronk, UNSR and EU ambassadors and Dr. Mustafa Osman Ismael, Sudanese Foreign Minister and his team23–24 August—I visited Sudan. I called on Mustafa Ismail and President Bashir. I met other members of the Government at a lunch.2 September—the British ambassador in Khartoum called on Salah Ghosh (Director General National Security)6 September—the British ambassador in Khartoum called on Yahya Hussein (Minister at the Presidency)7 September—the UK Special Representative for Sudan met the Sudanese ambassador in London.
§ Ann Clwyd
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on(a) the Government's assessment of whether the atrocities committed in Darfur constitute genocide and (b) the implications of Secretary of State Powell's comments on genocide in Darfur to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on 9 September. 
§ Mr. Mullin
There is no doubt that grave crimes against humanity have been committed in Darfur. These may amount to genocide. What Colin Powell said to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee underlines the need for all the evidence to be examined by an international commission of inquiry, which we would like the Security Council to set up.
The evidence currently available further underlines the need for sustained international action to press the Government of Sudan to carry out its responsibilities. That is what we are seeking through the Security Council.1550W
During my own visit to Sudan this week, I will also be making clear to the Government of Sudan its prime responsibility to protect its own citizens and to bring to justice all those responsible for human rights abuses.