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Nigeria: Peace Negotiations

Volume 473: debated on Thursday 13 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance his Department has (a) offered and (b) provided to the government of Nigeria on (i) President Umaru Yar' Adua's peace initiative in Niger delta and (ii) a renewed attempt to initiate peace talks; and if he will make a statement. (193020)

It is important that the Nigerian authorities provide a strong lead in finding a solution to the problems of the Niger delta. However, the UK remains open to discussing ways in which we can add value. The underlying causes of the crisis in the delta remain poor governance, instability and underdevelopment All of these must be addressed if a sustainable peace is to be realised. The UK has offered its support in all these areas and continues to encourage the Nigerian government to address the situation in the Niger delta as a priority. The UK supports a number of projects in the Niger delta, including on community empowerment and government transparency. We continue to urge all parties to engage in peaceful dialogue towards the resolution of the problems of the Niger delta.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports his Department has received of the peace talks between the Nigeria Government and militant groups in the Niger delta; what assessment his Department has made of the possibility of the re-engagement of all parties in peace talks; and if he will make a statement. (193021)

We are aware of ongoing discussion between the Nigerian Government and various militant groups in the Niger delta. The UK will continue to urge all parties to engage in peaceful dialogue towards the resolution of the problems of the Niger delta.