The House will be aware of the humanitarian crisis in the Ituri province in the Democratic Republic of Congo, particularly in and around the town of Bunia in the north-east of the country.The UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has requested an interim multinational force to stabilise the town of Bunia and to facilitate the arrival of UN reinforcements. This is likely to be a EU-led operation under European Foreign and Security Policy auspices.The UK is discussing possible contributions with EU Member States and other potential contributors. We are considering providing a small contingent of support elements together with aircraft to assist in the deployment of the force. The House will be informed once final decisions have been taken on the size and scale of UK contributions.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence
(Mr. Adam Ingram)