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Ethiopia: Politics and Government

Volume 475: debated on Monday 28 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the recent UN report on the humanitarian situation in the Somali region of Ethiopia. (200345)

The UN published its report on the Somali Region of Ethiopia in September 2007. The UN has not published a further report since. We welcomed the Ethiopian Government’s acceptance of the UN assessment team’s appraisal and we continue to urge the Ethiopian Government to adhere to its commitments in relation to the report—opening-up of trade routes, lifting restrictions on movement, allowing food aid to reach all parts of the region and allowing non-governmental organisations greater access. However, we continue to be concerned at the risk of further human suffering and therefore look forward to full implementation of the report’s findings. The UK continues to raise this with the Government of Ethiopia at regular intervals. My noble Friend Lord Malloch-Brown raised this issue when he met Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in late January. Most recently, our ambassador in Addis Ababa discussed ways to improve the situation in the Somali region with the Ethiopian Foreign Minister in March.