HL Deb 31 July 1998 vol 592 cc309-10WA
Lord Evans of Parkside

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What action they are taking in light of the recent press reports of the shipment of arms in both Ethiopia and Eritrea. [HL3257]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

We are aware of reports of shipments of arms from China to Ethiopia, and from Bulgaria to Eritrea on a Ukrainian aircraft. We are seeking to establish whether these arms were ordered before or after the border dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea had broken out.

There are no arms embargoes against either Ethiopia or Eritrea. But we are nevertheless extremely concerned that both countries, two of the poorest in the world, should apparently be seeking to rearm themselves at a time when the OAU, supported by the United Nations and the EU, are engaged in mediation efforts to settle their dispute by peaceful means.