HC Deb 08 November 1999 vol 337 cc409-10W
Mr. Mackinlay

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what initiatives Her Majesty's Government are taking to assist the civil prison service in Kosovo; and if he will make a statement. [97404]

Mr. Vaz

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Department for International Development (DfID) arranged for a visit to Kosovo for Her Majesty's Prison Service experts in August to consider what assistance we could provide for prison administration. DfID is providing $1 million in repair assistance and has made available the DfID Emergency Engineering Unit to the United Nations and to the NATO-led international force in Kosovo (KFOR) to help repair prison facilities before winter sets in.

Two British prisons experts also went to Kosovo at the start of October for a two month visit to provide technical advice to the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) on the transfer of responsibility for prisons from KFOR to UNMIK, and the re-opening of prison facilities. DfID are also funding the secondment of four prison technical monitors to supervise local staff until February 2000.

Mrs. Mahon

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many houses of the minorities have been burnt in Kosovo since the KFOR occupation. [96101]

Mr. Vaz

Between KFOR's arrival in Kosovo on 12 June 1999 and mid-October there have been 1,157 reported cases of arson. Figures disaggregated by ethnic group or property type are not available.