Democratic Republic of the Congo

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:30 am on 17th December 2003.

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Photo of David Drew David Drew Labour/Co-operative, Stroud 9:30 am, 17th December 2003

My hon. Friend is making an excellent case. I declare an interest, as I was part of the delegation that included my right hon. Friend Mr. Clarke and my hon. Friends the Members for City of York (Hugh Bayley) and for Bethnal Green and Bow (Ms King).

I totally concur with what my hon. Friend Ann McKechin says about a lack of power. We were surprised at the limited number of British Army personnel that we saw in the DRC. I know that quality is important, and the people whom we met are of the highest standard, but their numbers are small. I hope that she agrees that if we are serious about keeping the peace in the DRC we should, through my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, talk to the Ministry of Defence about its obligations.