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Mr. Jim Murphy: The Government monitor the situation in Somalia very closely and raises issues with international interlocutors on a regular basis. Most recently my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and my noble Friend the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, Lord Malloch-Brown, discussed Somalia with the Ethiopian Foreign Minister during their meeting on 13 November 2007.
The Government are very concerned by the current situation in Somalia. We are working hard with our international partners, through the EU, the UN and the International Contact Group, to help Somalia address its very difficult circumstances. The three strands of our policy cover political, security and humanitarian issues. By pursuing each of these areas in parallel, we hope to help Somalia leave violent conflict behind and develop, in time, to its full potential.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Government of Sudan on its rejection of the findings of the Abyei Boundary Commission report. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not raised the Abyei Boundary Commission report with the Government of Sudan. However, the Abyei boundary dispute is a key issue for continued progress on implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). My right hon. Friends the Foreign Secretary and the Secretary of State for International Development and my noble Friend the Minister of State for Africa, Asia and the UN Lord Malloch-Brown, have all raised CPA implementation including Abyei, in their contacts with the Government of Sudan.
Meg Munn: The start of new political talks in Libya on 27 October, and the announcement of a cessation of hostilities by the Government of Sudan, were welcome steps towards ending the conflict in Darfur. We support the African Union (AU) and UN current efforts to encourage the rebel movements to agree a common platform and for all groups to take part in formal negotiations. Only a political process can provide a sustainable solution to the Darfur conflict.
But the people of Darfur continue to suffer violence. We are pressing for the prompt and effective deployment of the UN-AU hybrid force in Darfur, as mandated by UN Security Council Resolution 1769, to restore security on the ground. We have agreed with other donors to set up the Darfur Community Peace and Stability Fund, to support recovery activities at community level where leaders deliver security on the ground and allow foil humanitarian access.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which countries have pledged troops to the UNAMID peacekeeping operation in Darfur; and how many troops each has pledged. 
David Miliband: The African Union (AU)-UN hybrid peacekeeping force in Darfur (UNAMID), mandated by UN Security Council Resolution 1769 of 31 July 2007, will consist of approximately 19,500 troops and a 6,500-strong civilian police component. The UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) has the task of generating the force in consultation with the AU. This particular force generation is complex and requires multilateral negotiations with potential contributing countries. The UN Secretary-General, in his report on UNAMID deployment of 5 November 2007, noted that the DPKO has received contributions from a number of countries to cover most of the military capabilities required for UNAMID, but critical shortfalls on helicopters and ground transport remain. The DPKO is now conducting pre-deployment assessments before confirming final troop contributions. We are pressing the DPKO, the AU and the Government of Sudan for the prompt and effective deployment of the UNAMID force.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the work of the Assessment and Evaluation Commission tasked with monitoring and enforcing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Sudan. 
Mr. Jim Murphy:
The Assessment and Evaluation Commission (AEC) has made progress as a forum for dialogue on issues of contention between the parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). It published on 3 November the Factual Report on the Status of the CPA Implementation and has opened offices in both Khartoum and Juba. The AEC's effectiveness is ultimately dependent on the National Congress Party and Sudan
People's Liberation Movement's willingness to co-operate. The recent political impasse within the Government of National Unity over delays in implementing the CPA demonstrates their difficulties in reaching consensus on key CPA issues.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) financial support, (b) personnel and (c) equipment his Department has provided to the Assessment and Evaluation Commission tasked with monitoring and enforcing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Sudan. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: At present, we do not provide financial support or equipment to the Assessment and Evaluation Committee (AEC)most support is provided by the US and Norway. However, representatives from our embassy in Khartoum attend AEC plenary meetings, and currently chair the AECs security sub-committee.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his assessment is of the implementation of European Union sanctions on Syria, with particular reference to the UKs compliance; what the total amount of assets frozen is by (a) EU member states and (b) the United Kingdom in line with these sanctions; and if he will make a statement. 
There are no EU financial sanctions imposed on Syria. EU Common Position 2005/888/Common Foreign and Security Policy, inter alia, places an asset freeze on those suspected of involvement in the murder of the former Prime Minister of Lebanon, Rafiq Hariri. This Common Position implements UN Sanctions and to date no individuals have been targeted for the assets freeze by the UN. Consequently the UK has not frozen any assets.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his assessment is of the threat posed to the UK by terrorist factions in East Africa, with particular reference to Somalia. 
David Miliband: Al-Qaeda and its local affiliates have a long history of terrorist activity in East Africa, from the Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam bombings of 1998 through to more recent activity in Somalia. Al-Qaeda has exploited the absence of an effective government in Somalia to use the country as a base for both terrorist training and planning. This threat is mainly focused on the region, but is sometimes directed against the UK. The UK is home to a small number of extremists of East African origin, as the failed 21 July 2005 attacks in London demonstrated.
The UKs policy is to return peace, stability and governance to Somalia. We, with our international partners, are supporting the Transitional Federal Institutions, established by the Transitional Federal
Charter. This envisages elections at the end of the transitional period in order to establish a democratically elected government in Somalia. Resolving the instability and lack of governance in Somalia through this mechanism will help counter the terrorist threat in the country.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his assessment is of the implementation of European Union sanctions on designated terrorist groups, with particular reference to the UKs compliance; what the total amount of assets frozen is by (a) EU member states and (b) the United Kingdom in line with these sanctions; and if he will make a statement. 
EU member states do not systematically share detailed information concerning the value of funds they have identified and frozen. However, they are legally obliged to freeze all funds and economic resources belonging to persons and entities listed under the sanctions regime. It is prohibited to make funds or economic resources available, directly or indirectly, to these persons and entities.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the threat by Uganda State House militia Commander Major Kakooza Mutale to kill anyone who opposes President Museveni; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: I have received no reports of threats by any member of the Uganda State House militia against opponents of President Museveni. Our high commission in Kampala closely monitors the internal political situation in Uganda and regularly presses the Ugandan Government to respect the rights of the Opposition.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government plans to take in response to the human rights situation of Western Saharawi refugees in the Tindouf camps and the actions of the Moroccan Government. 
The UK is concerned about the welfare of the people of Western Sahara. We have set out our concerns about human rights and the humanitarian situation in the region in the Foreign and
Commonwealth Offices 2006 Annual Human Rights Report, which is available at:
We have raised human rights issues with Morocco. We continue to support ongoing confidence building measures for the region, such as establishing a regular telephone and mail service between Tindouf and the territory, and family visits between the territory and the camps.
The UK remains concerned that the issue of the status of Western Sahara remains unresolved, with consequent problems for the people of the region. The UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1783 on 31 October, which renewed the mandate of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara until 30 April 2008. The resolution also calls upon the parties to continue negotiations under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General without preconditions and in good faith. The UK fully supports these negotiations, with a view to achieving a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.
Dr. Howells: It remains part of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara's (MINURSO) mandate to identify and register qualified voters to take part in any referendum. The UK is concerned that the issue of the status of Western Sahara remains unresolved, with consequent problems for the people of the region. The UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1783 on 31 October, which renewed the mandate of MINURSO until 30 April 2008.
The resolution also calls upon the parties to continue negotiations under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General without preconditions and in good faith. It is the UK's policy to fully support these negotiations, and the work of the Secretary-General and his Special Envoy, Peter van Walsum, with a view to achieving a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the lending activities of British banks in Zimbabwe; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The activities of banks incorporated in Britain and operating in Zimbabwe are subject to EU regulations. We take very seriously any allegation of a breach of article 6 of Regulation 314/2004 and will always investigate. We are determined to see that EU sanctions are properly enforced.
Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what options he is considering for assistance to Zimbabwe in the event of a change of Government in that country. 
Mr. Jim Murphy [holding answer 22 November 2007]: My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has said that Britain will contribute its share to supporting recovery in Zimbabwe but only when significant policy and administrative reforms are implemented within Zimbabwe. We are working with key partners in the international donor community and multilateral institutions to develop a co-ordinated approach to that assistance. Our focus would include support for stabilising the economy and moving towards sustainable recovery.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the National Implementation Director of his Departments 18 weeks programme has spent on (a) travel and (b) other expenses in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when changes have been made to the methods of measurement of his Department's target that patients should wait no more than 18 weeks for treatment since the target was announced; and what the (a) date of and (b) reason for the change was in each case. 
Mr. Bradshaw: No changes have been made to the methods of measurement of the target that by December 2008, no-one will have to wait more than 18 weeks from the time they are referred by their general practitioner for hospital treatment.
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