§ Mr. Doug Henderson
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 
§ Mr. Mullin
The transitional process in Kinshasa is now making encouraging progress. The new Transitional National Government (TNG) should provide a real opportunity for the Democratic Republic of the Congo to put an end to the cycle of conflict and human rights abuses and start on the path to democracy and development. We are looking actively at ways in which we can provide support—bilaterally, with EU and other partners, and through the UN.
§ Lady Hermon
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo regarding human rights abuses in that country; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Mullin
Before the Transitional National Government (TNG) was installed in Kinshasa at the end of July our ambassador made regular representations to the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo about human rights abuses in the territory they then controlled. During the same period the Government supported international efforts to raise human rights awareness in rebel-held areas and, with the EU, condemned abuses in those territories.
Since installation of the TNG, we have continued to make our views known, both bilaterally and with our international partners. We will support the work of relevant institutions such as the National Human Rights Observatoire.