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Burundi

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions his Department has had with the Burundi transitional government regarding establishing a Burundian Protection Force to replace the South African troops [126402]

The South African Government has committed troops to form the VIP protection force guarding returning exiled Hutu politicians. Under the agreement between the governments of South Africa and Burundi, the South African National Defence Force would provide training for their Burundian replacements. The implementation of this arrangement is a matter for the two governments.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions the Department has had with the Governments of (a) Senegal, (b) Nigeria and (c) Ghana, on the troops pledged to Burundi. [126403]

We are in regular contact with the governments of Senegal, Nigeria and Ghana. Each would require a total ceasefire to be in place before committing troops to Burundi. An all-inclusive ceasefire has not yet been achieved. South Africa, Mozambique and Ethiopia have now committed approximately 3,000 troops to the African Union led African Mission in Burundi. We have provided £3.9 million to the Mozambican Government to help equip their contingent.