HC Deb 20 May 1998 vol 312 c428W
Mr. Swayne

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on human rights in the Congo and the expulsion of UN representatives. [42799]

Mr. Tony Lloyd

We deeply regret the circumstances which necessitated the UN Secretary-General's decision to withdraw the UN inquiry team which had been investigating alleged human rights violations since 1993 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We and our partners in the EU consistently urged the Congolese authorities to ensure the fullest co-operation with the inquiry team. Despite some improvements, the team never enjoyed full co-operation. We fully endorsed the decision to withdraw the team, but did so with considerable regret, as we believe a thorough and impartial investigation into human rights violations could make a valuable contribution to long term stability, security and sustainable development in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes region as a whole.