§ The Earl of Sandwich
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will seek assurances from the new Nigerian Government that it will continue to maintain an Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) presence in Sierra Leone; and whether such a joint presence might benefit from financial aid from the United Kingdom. [HL1364]
§ Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean
A continued ECOMOG presence will be a vital part of efforts to build a lasting peace in Sierra Leone. The Foreign Secretary emphasised the strong UK support for ECOMOG during his visit to Nigeria on 8–9 March. ECOMOG is benefitting from practical British assistance to enable it to consolidate further the security situation. Since September 1998, we have provided over £4 million for direct logistic support to ECOMOG and humanitarian assistance to the Government of Sierra Leone. On 2 March, the Foreign Secretary announced a new £10 million package of assistance, including further substantial support to ECOMOG to enable it to fulfil its peace-building task in Sierra Leone. We are also urging other international donors to play their part.