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John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the Government's decision to increase military assistance to Ethiopia. [84981]

Mr. Rammell: The Ethiopian Government has asked the United Kingdom to provide training for the police and security forces to assist in the democratisation process and in promoting respect for human rights. There will be a UK joint Ministry of Defence/DFID/Foreign and Commonwealth Office scoping mission to Ethiopia in early 2003 to examine with the Government

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the best ways we can provide support and address human rights violations through effective training of the police and security forces.

Global Conflict Prevention Pool

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what military equipment has been purchased with funds from the Global Conflict Prevention Pool in each year since the programme's inception, indicating in each case the amount spent and the end uses. [82241]

Mr. Rammell: The Global Conflict Prevention Pool began operating in FY 2001–02. Its purpose is to improve the effectiveness of the UK's contribution to conflict prevention in areas other than sub-Saharan Africa, which is covered by the Africa Conflict Prevention Pool. The Global Pool covers the direct conflict prevention activities of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Department for International Development and Ministry of Defence, where a joint approach adds value.

Its programme budget for FY 2001–02 was £60 million and for FY 2002–03 it was £100 million.

Details of military equipment purchased with Global Pool programme funding since its inception are as follows:

RecipientFinancial yearCost (£)Description
Afghan National Army, and ISAF/Afghan Police and Military controls at Kabul entry pointsFY 2002–03 (to date)1.412 millionHard and soft top jeeps, trucks, communication equipment, security equipment including spotlights, radio, metal detectors
NepalFY 2001–02285,818Land Rovers spares and maintenance training, communications equipment
Royal Nepalese ArmyFY 2002–033,099,347Communications equipment, binoculars, compasses, Swiftscopes, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) equipment, two transport helicopters
BelizeFY 2001–02169,555Aircraft parts and freight costs, Land Rovers and spares, radio equipment
Belize Defence ForceFY 2002–03127,259Uniforms, mess kits, tents, hammocks, radio equipment
MacedoniaFY 2001–02282,500EOD equipment, body armour. global positioning system, mine detector sets, flares
Macedonian authorities75,000Four fork-lift trucks
UruguayFY 2001–0227,014Three NERA satellite phones and airtime

Ian Stillman

Jane Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Indian authorities on the case of Ian Stillman. [85169]

Mr. Mike O'Brien : My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has raised Mr. Stillman's case with the Government of India on six occasions this year. Recently he raised it with the Indian Deputy Prime Minister, L. K. Advani, on 21 August 2002 and the Indian Foreign Minister on 31 October 2002. My right hon. Friends the Prime Minister, and the Deputy Prime Minister, and I, have also raised Mr. Stillman's case with the Indian Government. Most recently the Prime Minister wrote to Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee on 4 November expressing the hope that Mr. Stillman would be released soon.

The Indian Government have offered to consider a clemency plea from Mr. Stillman sympathetically. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary met members of Mr. Stillman's family to discuss next steps in the case on 19 November 2002.


Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he plans to open the visa centre in Jallander, Punjab, India. [84901]

Mr. Rammell: We hope to open a visa application centre in Jallander early in 2003. We also hope to open a network of such centres across India to bring UK visa services nearer to our customers.

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many Ministers have visited India since 1 January 2001; and which Department they were from. [84902]

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Mr. Mike O'Brien: The following Ministers have visited India since 1 January 2001:


Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports his Department has received concerning the Anfal campaigns in Iraq in 1987–88. [85626]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Anfal campaigns have been well documented by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Tens of thousands of Kurds disappeared and hundreds of Kurdish villages were destroyed. The campaign included the use of chemical weapons where a single attack on the Kurdish town of Halabja killed up to 5,000 civilians and injured some 10,000 more.

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Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the evidential basis is for his statement on page 7 of the unnumbered document Saddam Hussein: Crimes and Human Rights Abuses of the allegation relating to caning of members of the national football team on the feet. [85560]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: In our document XSaddam Hussein: crimes and human rights abuses" we report the allegation that Udayy Hussein ordered the national football team to be caned on the soles of their feet after losing a World Cup qualifying match. The Foreign Office has had direct confirmation from Abbas al-Janabi, Press Secretary to Udayy Hussein at the time of the atrocity, that the incident occurred. An Iraqi national footballer, Sharar Haydar Mohamad al Hadithi, not involved in this match, is reported as saying that the caning did take place. Al Hadithi is also reported to have said that he was repeatedly caned on the soles of the feet, dragged through a pit of gravel and ordered to jump into a sewage pit to ensure the wounds were infected after having lost a match in 1994. These incidents conform with other stories suggesting a pattern of abusive behaviour by Udayy towards Iraqi sports people, for example the account of an Iraqi wrestler, Amra Haliff, in a Channel Four Despatches programme, broadcast on 17 November.

In 1997 FIFA sent officials to Iraq to investigate these allegations. Although Iraq was cleared, individuals who later fled Iraq, such as those mentioned above, confirmed that the allegations were true.

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to his statement on page 5 of his document, Saddam Hussein: Crimes and Human Rights Abuse, if he will name those who have had their ears cut off in Iraq. [85627]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The decree in 1994 called for the amputation of the outer part of the ear for those deserting the army of failing to join military service. The Iraqi regime itself acknowledges that it has pursued a policy of amputating ears. The Justice Minister, Shabib al-Maliki, said in an interview with Reuters on 18 January 1996 that a few criminals had had their ears amputated. The law was repealed at about that time. We do not have specific names. I will write to my hon. Friend further on this issue.

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