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Turkey: UK Diplomatic Visits to South-Eastern Region

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: A British Embassy official from Ankara visited the south east of Turkey between 31 August and 6 September. The itinerary comprised Van, Bitlis, Batman and Diyarbakir provinces. A further two-man embassy visit to Siirt, Mardin and Diyarbakir provinces took place from 7 to 11 December 1997.

During both visits most of the contacts which the British officials had with local NGOs and other interlocutors took place in the absence of the accompanying security escort. There was no contact with internally displaced villagers, nor did the embassy personnel inspect any destroyed villages.

Sierra Leone

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The UN Technical Survey Team travelled to the region on 10 January. Two members of the team then flew to Liberia on 14 January for meetings with ECOMOG, while the rest of the team flew to Sierra Leone. The team's recommendations are expected to be made in a report by the Secretary-General at the end of this month.

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: We support UN Security Council Resolution 1132. The UN Sanctions Committee, of which we are a member, is aware of the problems with processing humanitarian shipments on the border and efforts are being made to address this problem through contacts between the UN and ECOWAS.

A UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs assessment team will visit the region next month to assess the humanitarian situation and the impact of sanctions. The Sanctions Committee has already approved applications for humanitarian fuel supplies, including one for the supply of 80,000 litres of fuel and 3,000 litres of lubricants to the ICRC.

Uganda: Military Assistance

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will offer the Government of Uganda military assistance in dealing with the terrorist "Lord's Resistance Army".[HL47]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: HMG do not provide any military assistance to the Government of Uganda specifically designed to counter the threat of insurgency from the Lord's Resistance Army, or any other rebel group. Current military training consists of staff courses, either in the UK or at regional training centres. Future training will concentrate on assisting the Uganda Peoples' Defence Force to modernise its command and control logistics systems. This forms part of a wider strategy to enhance the capacity of African forces to participate in multilateral peace-keeping operations.


Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the relationship between the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM's) headquarters in Bahrain and the United States military base there.[HL96]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Her Majesty's Government are not aware of any connection between the United States military base in Bahrain and the UNSCOM Field Office located there. The Field Office provides logistic support to the Baghdad Monitoring and Verification Centre and is quite independent of the US military base.

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, as alleged by the Iraqi Government, the newly formed 16-member team of UNSCOM inspectors includes nine American and five British

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    officials, and whether (a) they and (b) the United Nations Security Council are content with these proportions.[HL97]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The 16-member team referred to was actually made up of nine Americans, five British, one Australian and one Russian expert. All these personnel were part of a much larger inspection effort involving forty-four UNSCOM personnel from seventeen nations. The composition of UNSCOM teams is a matter for the Executive Chairman of UNSCOM to decide, not Iraq. The Security Council on 14 January expressed its full support for the Executive Chairman.

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether in its appointments UNSCOM should demonstrate lack of national bias, as well as professionalism.[HL98]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Selection of personnel is a matter for the Executive Chairman of UNSCOM.


Lord Wallace of Saltaire asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many states have contributed military forces to SFOR and IFOR in Bosnia; and what is the size of their contingents in these two multilateral forces.[HL49]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert): In total, 34 states contributed to the Implementation Force and 36 currently contribute to the Stabilisation Force. Precise figures for the military forces provided by each state are not held centrally by the MoD. Individual contributions can vary over the mission according to roulements and mission priorities. The figures below are assembled from a variety of sources and give troop numbers in the Former Yugoslavia as a whole rather than in Bosnia alone.

United States22,0008,500
United Kingdom11,5005,200
Czech Republic850640
Republic of Ireland(2)--60
Albania 3030


(1) Includes dedicated reserve force based in France.

(2) Did not contribute to IFOR.

(3) Figures not available.

(4) Slovenia provides an emergency medical facility based in their capital Ljubljana.

(5) Civilian medical staff.

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Lord Wallace of Saltaire asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How the costs of SFOR and IFOR have been divided among the contributing states.[HL50]

Lord Gilbert: Nations contributing to IFOR/SFOR largely meet their own costs. However, NATO common funding is provided for some costs, such as a proportion of the IFOR and SFOR Headquarters costs and some infrastructure costs where, for instance, repairs to road links are considered essential to the completion of the military task.

Lord Wallace of Saltaire asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Which state has made the largest financial contributions to peacekeeping and peacemaking operations in the former Yugoslavia over the past seven years; and how this compares with the total British contribution.[HL51]

Lord Gilbert: Nations providing forces to IFOR/SFOR largely meet their own costs, and are not required to provide details to any central body. It is not therefore possible to provide comparative figures. The costs of the United Kingdom's contribution to the Former Yugoslavia since 1992 were given on 16 December in my Answer to the noble Lord, Lord Renton of Mount Harry, at col. 494 of the Official Report.

Armed Forces in Central and Eastern Europe: Training Assistance

The Earl of Carlisle asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Which Central and Eastern European nations have decided to adopt the United Kingdom's model for

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    training and equipping their armed forces; and what measures are being taken to expedite this process.[HL175]

Lord Gilbert: I am pleased to say that Latvia and Lithuania have decided to follow the UK model for NCO and officer training, and we will be providing significant support for these projects in forthcoming years. Estonia and Slovenia are considering adopting UK models also; we would be prepared to support such moves in a similar way. Romania has also decided to adopt the UK operational staff training system, and we will continue to support this project at the Regional Training Centre in Bucharest.

Our military assistance to date has reinforced the reputation of our armed forces. We have recently adopted a system that builds on this by providing specialist military teams to give advice on training matters; and recommend, where appropriate, how we can best provide support if the decision is taken to follow the British model.

Her Majesty's Government see defence diplomacy as an important and growing task. A key component of this is the provision of doctrinal, training and organisational advice, and we are delighted to make this available if requested as the countries of central and eastern Europe grapple with the reorganisation of their armed forces.

Travellers: Eviction

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, in the light of the decision in R v Brighton and Hove Council ex parte Marmont (The Times Law Reports, 15th January), they will introduce a measure to ensure that where a local authority evicts travellers for repossession of land, it is under an obligation to take into account Department of the Environment Circular 18/94 concerning Gypsy Sites Policy and Unauthorised Camping.[HL198]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Baroness Hayman): The judgment in R v Brighton & Hove Council ex parte Marmont makes it clear that the advice in Department of the Environment Circular 18/94 has no application to proceedings under which local authorities seek repossession of their land from trespassers through the civil courts. The judgment does, however, make it clear that local authorities cannot ignore considerations of common humanity when deciding whether to evict unauthorised campers, regardless of which powers they choose to use.

The Government do not, therefore, consider it necessary to introduce any further measures in relation to unauthorised camping.

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