|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he has taken (a) in the UK and (b) in the Council of Ministers in respect of (i) leaders and (ii) members of the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda based in European countries; and if he will make a statement. 
We have been working closely with the EU Special Representative for the Great Lakes, to encourage a coordinated EU approach to the Europe-based leadership of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). We have also worked in the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on some of these individuals under UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1807. There are currently no indications of the presence in the UK of any of the leading members of the FDLR.
The UK is committed to enforcing the UN sanctions regime on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). We will not hesitate to support sanctions against any person or company providing support to armed groups in the region where there is sufficient evidence to do so.
We have been in touch with the Group of Experts, established by UNSCR 1807, throughout the process of producing their report, and have offered as much assistance as possible to aid in its enquiries. The UK has also shared information on the activities of militia groups, such as the FDLR, as requested by the Group of Experts and we will continue to do so. We continue to work with our European partners to disrupt lines of communication between the FDLR in DRC and FDLR support networks, for example, closing relevant websites.
Mr. Michael Foster: The Department for International Development (DFID) supports long-term programmes to help tackle poverty and social exclusion, which are some of the underlying causes of slavery and forced labour.
DFID is also currently supporting two Anti-Slavery International (ASI) projects that address modern day slavery. In West Africa (Niger, Mali, Chad and Mauritania) DFID is providing £447,870 to support a five-year project that is addressing Descent Based Slavery. Over a five-year period (April 2008 to March 2013) DFID is also providing £1,435,049 to ASI to support its work in Tanzania, India, the Philippines, Togo, Peru and Costa Rica in tackling slavery and child labour.
We receive regular joint assessment reports prepared by the United Nations and Government agencies. The most recent (October 2009) indicated that humanitarian indicators across Darfur were stable, although concerns were raised about the likely impact of a poor harvest. We remain deeply concerned at both the quantity and quality of humanitarian assistance in Darfur which have still not fully recovered following the expulsion
and closure of NGOs by the Sudanese Government in March 2009. The continued insecurity in the region exacerbates this problem.
A secure Darfur in which humanitarian assistance can reach those who need it remains a key objective for the UK. We regularly engage with the Government of Sudan on this issue both bilaterally and through the High Level Committee. UK officials again emphasised the importance of the Government of Sudan taking action to tackle impunity at a high level meeting in Geneva on 30 November attended by the UN, donor countries and the Government of Sudan. We continue to raise these issues in meetings in Khartoum with senior members of the Sudanese Government.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 1 December 2009, Official Report, column 607W, for what reason his Department has no plans to promote a UK candidate for either appointment. 
Mr. Michael Foster: The United Nations (UN) has recently agreed to the creation of two new senior leadership posts on gender in the UN. General Assembly Resolution 63/311 creates a new Under-Secretary General post to head a new UN Gender Entity. Security Council Resolution 1888 creates a post of Special Representative Against Sexual Violence in Conflict at Assistant Secretary-General level. The UK supported the establishment of both of these posts. Appointments will be made by the UN Secretary-General. The UK is committed to the promotion of open, transparent, merit-based appointment processes by the UN, which encourage the best candidates to come forward.
The UK strongly supports the creation of a new UN gender agency, on which there will be further negotiations during the current session of the General Assembly. Our priority is to bring negotiations on the establishment of the entity to a successful and speedy resolution.
Bill Rammell: There are currently no Army Land Rovers in Iraq. I am withholding information about Army Land Rovers in Afghanistan as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the proportion of recruits to (a) the Afghan national army and (b) the Afghan police force who are illiterate. 
Bill Rammell: The literacy rates for both the Afghan national army and Afghan national police currently estimated to stand at 93 per cent. for officers, 30 per cent. for non-commissioned officers and 11 per cent. for enlisted soldiers.
ISAF are working to address the low literacy levels with the Afghan Government. This has included letting two contracts to help with the education of recruits to the Afghan national army and Afghan national police.
UK forces in Helmand work to improve the basic literacy and numeracy of members of the Afghan national army and Afghan national police by means of train-the-trainer programmes run by the Adjutant General Corps Education & Training Service and the Ministry of Defence police respectively.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Prime Minister's Statement of 30 November 2009, Official Report, columns 831-54, on Afghanistan and Pakistan, (1) how many of the extra 10,000 Afghan army troops will be deployed in Helmand province for (a) training and (b) offensive and manoeuvre operations; 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Helmand province is a key priority for ISAF. We continue to encourage the deployment of additional Afghan forces to Helmand; however, this is ultimately a decision for the Government of Afghanistan.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The total number of Afghan National Army, (ANA) currently stands at approximately 96,000. The ANA has developed well as a fighting force over the last few years and is becoming increasingly capable of participating in operations with ISAF forces as is shown by the role they recently played in contributing to Operation Panther's Claw this summer.
The total number of Afghan National Police (ANP) currently stands at approximately 94,000. Although the ANP capacity has improved through US and EU led programmes, their capability varies across the forces and continues to suffer from major problems including low levels of literacy and high levels of corruption.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many of those held in detention in Afghanistan had been captured by British armed forces in each year since 2001; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) how many of those held in detention by British armed forces in Afghanistan (a) have been handed over to US forces, (b) have been handed over to Afghan security forces, (c) have been released and (d) remain in British custody; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: Between July 2006 and 31 October 2009 UK forces detained 739 people. The UK does not transfer detainees to other ISAF nations unless it is required by our Memoranda of Understanding with the Denmark or the Czech Republic, where we hand detainees taken by Danish or Czech forces back to them for transfer to Afghan authorities or release. As of 31 October 2009, the UK held 10 people in detention. We hold capture details relating to a total of a further seven individuals detained by UK forces between 2001 and June 2006.
|Detained||Released( 1)||Transferred to Afghan Authorities( 1)||Died in UK medical facilities of wounds sustained on the battle field( 1)|
|(1) These columns refer to individuals detained in the month identified. In some cases they may have been released, transferred or died in the following month. It also includes a small number of individuals initially detained by the Danish armed forces who were handed back to Danish forces for release or transfer.|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|