§ Mr. MacShane
Following consultations with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Ministry of Defence, the Department of Trade and Industry recently approved a licence to export general purpose machine guns to Senegal. These arms will be used by the Senegalese Armed Forces in the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
DRC is subject to an EU arms embargo, imposed by a Declaration of 7/4/1993. The embargo was put in place mainly to ensure the safety of international troops and civilian personnel deployed in the DRC. The decision to grant an exemption does not affect HMG's continued support for the EU arms embargo on the DRC.
The decision to permit export was made on the basis that the equipment is needed by bona fide UN peacekeepers and is proportionate to the humanitarian needs of the Senegalese peacekeepers.
HMG fully supports the Senegalese troops deployed to the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC. The decision underlines our continued support for the work being done by peacekeepers within the country.