HC Deb 28 March 2003 vol 402 cc420-1W
Rev. Martin Smyth

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the situation in Burundi. [105077]

Mr. Rammell

We remain committed to supporting the Arusha process and the transitional government institutions. We are concerned that, despite the 2 December 2002 ceasefire agreement, fighting has continued in Burundi and the FNL remain outside of the peace process.

The early deployment of the African Mission is central to the success of the ceasefire agreement and the smooth transition of power after the May 1 hand over.

We stand ready to assist financially. We are encouraged that President Mbeki of South Africa has said that he expects the African Mission to start deploying in Burundi in the week beginning 31 March.