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Somalia

Volume 450: debated on Tuesday 10 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer to Question 87470, on Somalia, what assessment he has made of the impact of reported incursions by Ethiopian forces into Somalia on the humanitarian and security situation in that country; and if he will make a statement. (90518)

I have seen media reports of an Ethiopian military presence in Somalia, but we have had no official confirmation of the size or purpose of such forces. However, at this sensitive time, when Somali parties are in talks under the auspices of the League of Arab States, any military activity by internal or external forces, which could undermine the Khartoum process or bring further suffering to the Somali people, is highly undesirable. Conflict kills, injures and displaces innocent civilians and results inevitably in calls for humanitarian relief which would be better put to rebuilding Somalia.