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Somalia: Armed Conflict

Volume 458: debated on Monday 12 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations her Department has made to the United Nations on resolving the on-going conflict in Somalia; and what estimate she has made of the impact this conflict has had on the numbers of people seeking asylum from that country within the United Kingdom. (125844)

The UK, through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London and our missions in New York, Nairobi and Addis Ababa, is in frequent contact with the UN and related bodies about the situation in Somalia. In particular, we are stressing to the UN and other key members of the international community the historic opportunity we have to bring stability to Somalia.

We continue to monitor closely the security situation, particularly in and around Mogadishu. We do not have figures for Somalis seeking asylum in the UK as a direct result of the current situation, but note that a major deterioration in security could cause people to leave their country and seek to claim asylum elsewhere. Therefore, we are working for an effective deployment of African Union troops in conjunction with a successful National Reconciliation Congress that brings greater inclusivity. The first detachment of Ugandan troops has arrived in Mogadishu. Together, these will help bring stability to Somalia, which we would expect over the longer term to lead to a reduction in asylum seekers.