HL Deb 04 February 1999 vol 596 cc233-4WA
Lord Avebury

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What discussions they have had with James 0. C. Jonah, Sierra Leone Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, concerning the Sierra Leone Government's intention to raise a 15,000 interim civil defence force; whether the Sierra Leone Government has asked Britain to provide training, and to consider providing weapons supplies for the militia; and what their response was. [HL692]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Mr. Lloyd, met the Sierra Leone Minister of Finance, Development and Economic Planning, Dr. James Jonah, on 18 January to discuss recent events in Sierra Leone. Dr. Jonah explained the importance which the Government of Sierra Leone attached to strengthening and reforming the country's defence forces. A reformed army under proper democratic control is central to sustaining democracy in Sierra Leone and to promoting lasting peace and stability. We are already in close touch with the Government of Sierra Leone over how the UK can assist in this process.

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