Sudan

New strategy for Swedish support to Sudan

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The Government's strategy is based on humanitarian protection and development assistance, long-term support to work with legal protection for women in Darfur and new diplomatic efforts that are to ensure that the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) is strengthened and complied with.

Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson presented these plans at a meeting with Jakob Kellenberger, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), earlier today.

"I want to increase Sweden's efforts for humanitarian protection and respect for human rights. It must be an absolute requirement that all warring parties follow international law and recognised humanitarian principles. Sexual violence and the abuse of women and children can never be accepted and those responsible for such actions must be brought to justice. Humanitarian organisations must be given unimpeded access to people in need and not be subjected to abuse and harassment. These principles must guide the support that we and others provide to Sudan," says Ms Carlsson.

"The situation in Darfur province has developed into one of the world's worst humanitarian disasters. Civilians, not least woman and children, are paying an unacceptably high price. Sudan's government has the primary responsibility to protect its people, but all combatants are guilty of recurring abuse of civilians," says Ms Carlsson.

Some examples of measures:

- A new diplomatic strategy for support to implementation of the peace agreement, CPA. Ambassador Michael Fr=FChling has been instructed to monitor the developments, make an inventory of and propose possible measures to strengthen support to implementation of the CPA;

- Sweden intends to make a renewed contribution amounting to SEK 40 million to the ICRC Sudan programme. The contribution will be given in light of the additional appeal issued by the ICRC for resources to deal with its considerably increased responsibility, mainly in Gereida in southern Darfur;

- Sweden provides support amounting to SEK 2 million to the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD Centre) to carry out a negotiation programme linked to the conflict in Darfur;

- Sweden provides support amounting to SEK 2 million to the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD Centre) to carry out a negotiation programme linked to the conflict in Darfur;

- Long-term support of some SEK 10 million per year for the UNDP Rule of Law and Justice programme in Sudan is being prepared. The support will be given to strengthen UNDP work with legal protection for women in Darfur;

- On 7 June 2007, the Government and the Government Offices decided to allocate SEK 11 million to extend the Swedish Rescue Services Agency's operation which supports the AMIS health and medical services component within the framework of EU support measures;

- Via the Swedish Rescue Services Agency, Sweden will provide UNHCR with transport assistance in southern Sudan over a two-year period (July 2007-July 2009) to support the voluntary return of refugees to southern Sudan.

Contact:

Mikael =D6stlund
Press secretary to Gunilla Carlsson
+46 8 405 59 39
+46 70 297 43 28
mikael.ostlund@foreign.ministry.se