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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions (a) he, (b) members of his Department and (c) UK representatives in Abuja have had with the Government
of Nigeria on the failure of peace talks with militant groups in the Niger delta; and if he will make a statement. 
Meg Munn: Our high commissioner in Abuja discussed the situation in the Niger delta with President YarAdua in January. Following this, and ongoing discussion with Nigerian Government officials in Abuja and London, we are not aware that dialogue between the Nigerian Government and militant groups in the Niger delta has come to an end. A meeting on the Gulf of Guinea energy security strategy (to include UK and Nigerian Government representatives) is scheduled for later this month and there are still plans for a Niger delta summit, which would engage the Nigerian Government and communities in the region in structured dialogue.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance his Department has (a) offered and (b) provided to the government of Nigeria on (i) President Umaru Yar' Adua's peace initiative in Niger delta and (ii) a renewed attempt to initiate peace talks; and if he will make a statement. 
Meg Munn: It is important that the Nigerian authorities provide a strong lead in finding a solution to the problems of the Niger delta. However, the UK remains open to discussing ways in which we can add value. The underlying causes of the crisis in the delta remain poor governance, instability and underdevelopment All of these must be addressed if a sustainable peace is to be realised. The UK has offered its support in all these areas and continues to encourage the Nigerian government to address the situation in the Niger delta as a priority. The UK supports a number of projects in the Niger delta, including on community empowerment and government transparency. We continue to urge all parties to engage in peaceful dialogue towards the resolution of the problems of the Niger delta.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports his Department has received of the peace talks between the Nigeria Government and militant groups in the Niger delta; what assessment his Department has made of the possibility of the re-engagement of all parties in peace talks; and if he will make a statement. 
Meg Munn: We are aware of ongoing discussion between the Nigerian Government and various militant groups in the Niger delta. The UK will continue to urge all parties to engage in peaceful dialogue towards the resolution of the problems of the Niger delta.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports his Department has received on the abduction of a German construction worker in the Niger delta; how many UK citizens are (a) working and (b) resident in the Niger delta; what assessment his Department has
made of the security situation in the Niger delta since 2006; and if he will make a statement. 
Meg Munn: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) received reports that a German national was kidnapped approximately 30 km west of Port Harcourt on 4 March 2008. He was taken into creeks in the Niger delta but was released 12 hours later into state security service custody. Three members of his escort team were killed during the abduction attack. Currently 803 British nationals are registered with our high commission in Abuja as residing in the Niger delta (Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa states), Most of these residents work in the oil industry. Registration with our high commission is voluntary, though the high commission has an ongoing strategy to encourage UK nationals to register.
The abduction of the German national on 4 March 2008 was the first kidnap of an expatriate in the Niger delta since 21 October 2007. Since January 2006, however, 36 British nationals, including one child, and more than 180 other foreign nationals have been kidnapped in the Niger Delta area, with one British national being killed. Despite the lull in expatriate kidnappings since October 2007, kidnappings of Nigerian nationals have continued, as have threats and attacks against oil installations The FCO continues to advise against all travel to the Niger delta (Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states, including Port Harcourt) and advises British nationals in these states to leave. We also advise against all travel to riverine areas of Cross River state and against all but essential travel to Akwa Ibom state because of the high risk of kidnapping, armed robbery and other armed attacks.
Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information the Government has obtained from surveys and opinion polls on the opinions of (a) hon. Members and (b) the public on a referendum on amendments to the European treaties. 
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the possible impact of the International Criminal Court's (ICC) investigation of Joseph Kony on (a) the possibility of a peace agreement between the Lord's Resistance Army and the Government of Uganda, (b) the credibility and effectiveness of the ICC and (c) possible peace and reconciliation efforts in Uganda; and if he will make a statement. 
The Government strongly support the International Criminal Court and believe that its investigation in Uganda has helped to bring the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) to the negotiating table. We welcome the progress made by the Government of Uganda and the LRA and are encouraged by reports
that the two sides will sign a final peace agreement by the end of the month. Justice is an essential part of a sustainable peace and it is vital that those responsible for the terrible crimes committed during the conflict in northern Uganda are held to account.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) operational control, (b) administrative control, (c) technical control and (d) other command relationship there is between British and non-British forces operating in Helmand Province at the (i) company and (ii) platoon level; and what the nationality is of each unit. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Permanently operating in Helmand within the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) command structure under the operational control of Task Force Helmand, a British HQ, are deployments from:
Denmark (a battle group)
Estonia (a single company)
A number of small specialist units from other nations also come under the Command of Commander Task Force Helmand. Other non-UK units may, on occasion, temporarily deploy into Helmand province for specific missions: the precise command relationships with these units will vary dependent on the specific nature of their operational taskings.
The Afghan National Army (ANA) currently deploys five units of battalion size or greater, which include many companies and platoons, in Helmand province. Their operations are closely coordinated with ISAF operations, including through the use of Operational Mentoring, Liaison and Training Teams, although there is no formal command relationship between ISAF and ANA units.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 3 March 2008, Official Report, column 2052W, on the armed forces: EU institutions, who the permanent Chairman of the EU Military Committee is. 
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what guidance his Department has issued to the base commander at RAF Wittering on service personnel wearing uniforms off base; when such guidance was issued; what the evidential basis for the guidance was; and if he will make a statement. 
No additional guidance was issued other than the existing rules set out in Queen's Regulations chapter 6 Uniform and Dress (last
amended February 2005) and Air Publication 1358 Uniform, Dress and Appearance Regulations (last amended February 2008) and Joint Service Publication 440 Defence Manual of Security (last updated July 2007). This gives Station Commanders the discretion, where appropriate, to instruct their personnel not to wear service uniform off base.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department consulted (a) Cambridgeshire Constabulary, (b) Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and (c) Peterborough city council before issuing advice to RAF Wittering on the wearing of service uniforms off base. 
Derek Twigg: The RAF did consult with Cambridgeshire Constabulary regarding the issue of the wearing of uniform off base. Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Peterborough city council were not involved in this process. Having been briefed on the background to this action, the Mayor of Peterborough and Cambridgeshire police issued a joint statement on 11 March supporting the decision.
(1 )Includes all UK Regular Army personnel stationed in Cyprus.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Answer of 6 March 2008, Official Report, column 2807W, on Challenger tanks: repairs and maintenance, when the next order for full vehicle sets of track is due; when the order will be placed; how many full vehicle sets of track will be ordered; and what the cost will be. 
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 3 March 2008, Official Report, column 2053W, on the Committee of Permanent Representatives, how many European security and defence policy matters were considered by the Committee of Permanent Representatives II in 2007. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The role of the Committee of Permanent Representatives II is to prepare the work of the Council of Ministers of the European Union. All issues considered by the Committee of Permanent Representatives II are covered in the Governments routine scrutiny and reporting arrangements in Parliament for European Union matters.
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