UPDATE: Baroness Cox poses written questions to HM Government regarding Nigeria and Syria

February 9th, 2018

UPDATE: Baroness Cox poses written questions to HM Government regarding Nigeria and Syria

Baroness Cox (Crossbench) has posed 6 written questions to the UK Government about recent developments in Syria and Nigeria and has received a response from Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative Minister of State), and Earl Howe (Deputy Leader of the House of Lords). (This article will be updated as soon as answers have been received – article complete 28/02) 

Question 1:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Nigeria regarding reports by Amnesty International that unlawful and excessive force has been used by the Nigerian Air Force against civilians in Lawaru, Dong, Kodomti, Shafaron, and Nzuruwei.

Answer 1: 

We remain concerned by reports of human rights violations by the Nigerian security forces. We continue to make clear to the Nigerian authorities the importance of transparent investigations of human rights violations, accountability at all levels, and the protection of civilians in conflict areas and in places of detention.

Hansard Source: HL5525

 

Question 2:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Nigeria regarding reports of attacks by Islamist Fulani herders on Christian communities.

Answer 2:

We are concerned by recurrent clashes involving pastoralists and local farmers of all faiths. We have raised our concerns at State and Federal government levels and urge the Nigerian Government to work with the affected populations. We welcome President Buhari’s commitment to focus on assisting the affected communities, bringing perpetrators to justice and examining longer-term peaceful solutions to the conflict.

Hansard Source: HL5526

 

Question 3:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of Amnesty International’s recommendation that, following recent military attacks on villages in Adamawa State, the Nigerian Air Force should submit its video footage and all relevant information it holds to the Nigerian authorities, specifically the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

Answer 3: 

It is essential that actions taken by the Nigerian Armed Forces and security services are in accordance with international human rights and humanitarian laws. We urge the Nigerian government to investigate allegations of human rights violations and, where allegations are confirmed, hold those responsible to account.

Hansard Source: HL5527

 

Question 4:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they are making to the government of Nigeria in response to reports of Christian villages in Adamawa State being simultaneously attacked by the Nigerian Air Force and Islamist Fulani herders.

Answer 4: 

It is essential that actions taken by the Nigerian Armed Forces and security services are in accordance with international human rights and humanitarian laws. We call on the Nigerian Air Force to comply with investigations by the Nigerian authorities and ensure accountability on all sides.

We are concerned by recurrent clashes involving pastoralists and local farmers of all faiths. We have raised our concerns at State and Federal government levels and urge the Nigerian Government to work with the affected populations. We urge the Nigerian Government to investigate allegations of human rights violations and, where allegations are confirmed, hold those responsible to account.

Hansard Source: HL5528

 

Question 5:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the speech by the United States Secretary of State on 17 January, in which he referred to “stabilization initiatives” in liberated areas of Syria; and whether UK military personnel seconded to the Coalition are involved in such initiatives, either in the field or at Coalition headquarters.

Answer 5:

We welcome the US’s ongoing commitment to Syria. The UK will continue to work closely with the US government as part of the Global Coalition, to ensure the lasting defeat of Daesh by preventing the conditions which led to its emergence. In areas liberated from Daesh, the UK is making a significant humanitarian contribution to help meet the immediate needs of the population, for example through supporting de-mining work and the provision of life-saving medical care. At the same time it is important that locally legitimate and inclusive governance is established in these areas. UK military personnel are present in Coalition HQs which support counter-Daesh operations, of which post-conflict stabilisation is a vital part.

Hansard Source: HL 5529

 

Question 6:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 20 December 2017 (HL Deb, col 2112), whether they have undertaken the investigation into UK Government funding of bodies in Syria allied to jihadists; and what were the findings of that investigation.

Answer 6: 

The British Government does not fund extremists or any organisation with links to extremists in Syria. The Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa wrote to all members of both Houses on 10 January about the outcome of the investigations that we conducted into Adam Smith International (ASI) following allegations by the BBC’s Panorama that funding we had provided to ASI may have been diverted. In that letter the Minister confirmed that both internal and third party investigations had concluded. These found no evidence that either Her Majesty’s Government or ASI had acted inappropriately. The investigations concluded that the allegations were either (i) untrue, (ii) misleading or (iii) were dealt with appropriately by the project and donors at the time through the robust risk management and monitoring procedures in place.

Hansard Source: HL5530

 

You can see all of Baroness Cox’s written questions and answers here


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