HC Deb 04 June 2003 vol 406 cc434-5W
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many people have died in the Congo in each of the last 10 years, broken down by gender; what percentage of the population this represented in each year; and what recent discussions he has had with the UN about the conflict. [116743]

Mr. Rammell

Reliable information on the number of deaths in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) over the last 10 years is unavailable. But media reports have suggested that more than four million people may have died as a result of the current war. Most were civilians. The DRC's population is estimated at 52 million.

We are in regular discussion with the UN about the conflict in the DRC. The UN Secretary General has asked the UK and others to contribute to an international rapid deployment force for Ituri (North East DRC). We think it is important to contribute to this force, to support the UN and the DRC peace process. The UK will, therefore, participate in the Interim Emergency Multinational Force (IEMF). We are in consultation with those involved about the most appropriate and effective contribution the UK can make.