HL Deb 12 December 1983 vol 446 cc93-4WA
The Earl of Kimberley

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, in view of our debt of honour and moral obligation to the Somalis arising from arrangements with Ethiopia (Abyssinia) between 1897 and 1954, they will instruct our Permanent Representative at the United Nations to raise the question of self-determination for Somalis in Ethiopia as a right to which they are entitled under the Charter (and numerous subsequent resolutions).

Baroness Young

No. Our position is one of support for the Organisation of African Unity policy of accepting the colonial boundaries inherited by the newly-independent African states; indeed, it has been widely accepted at the United Nations that the right of self-determination does not give every distinct group or territorial sub-division within a state the right to secede from it and thereby dismember the territorial integrity or political unity of sovereign independent states.