HC Deb 15 March 2002 vol 381 cc1295-6W
Mr. Llwyd

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what representations he has made to the Angolan Government concerning restrictions on freedom of expression; and if he will make a statement; [42524]

(2) if representations are being made to the Angolan Government against their continued military offensive against UNITA; and if he will make a statement on what is being done by the international community to achieve new momentum in the peace process; [42519]

(3) what the British Government have done to show their condemnation of human rights abuses by (a) the UNITA rebel movement and (b) the ruling MPLA Government in Angola; and if he will make a statement. [42520]

Mr. MacShane

Following the death of Jonas Savimbi, the UK joined the EU partners in issuing a declaration urging both parties to put an end to the conflict in Angola. The Prime Minister has written to President dos Santos to encourage him to take steps to begin a process of national reconciliation and to address Angola's very serious humanitarian situation.

Her Majesty's Government believe that freedom of expression is essential to a functioning democracy. It is important for the improvement of human rights in Angola. The UK makes regular representations to the Government of Angola, bilaterally and through the EU, urging them to address human rights and humanitarian issues in Angola. We condemn human rights abuses by UNITA. UK support for sanctions against UNITA is a strong signal that their behaviour has been unacceptable.

The next opportunity for HMG to discuss Angola's human rights record will be the visit of Foreign Minister Miranda to the UK at the end of March, when he will meet the Foreign Secretary, Baroness Amos and the International Development Secretary. The International Development Secretary is also visiting Angola from 2–4 April.

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