Ethiopia

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4th May 1988.

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Mr. John M. Taylor:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what advice he is giving to British citizens intending to visit Ethiopia in the light of the information available to him about the internal conflict in that country; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mrs Lynda Chalker Mrs Lynda Chalker , Wallasey

We advise British citizens not to visit the rural areas of Tigré and Eritrea, where hostilities continue.

Mr. Taylor:

I thank my right hon. Friend for her reply. Do not those who would excite Western liberal guilt about Ethiopia miss the point that the principal scourge of its rural people is the Ethiopian Government?

Photo of Mrs Lynda Chalker Mrs Lynda Chalker , Wallasey

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. That has been a serious problem in Ethiopia, particularly for those who have tried to make a way of life for themselves and been prevented from doing so. At present, while some areas are indeed safe, others are suffering from attacks by the Ethiopian Government on their liberation fronts. I believe that the continued military position, with sporadic fighting in places all over the country, but mainly in the north, can do no good for the people of Ethiopia, and certainly will not advance the cause of the Ethiopian Government one iota.