Conflict Resolution

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 26th June 2019.

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Photo of Lord Judd Lord Judd Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to review and strengthen the effectiveness of conflict resolution policies of the UK to address persistent and accelerating conflict, and flashpoints, particularly in (1) Benin, (2) Burkina Faso, (3) Cameroon, (4) Central African Republic, (5) Chad, (6) Democratic Republic of the Congo, (7) Mali, (8) Nigeria, (9) Togo, (10) Somalia, and (11) Sudan; and what steps they are taking with partners in the Commonwealth, the EU, and the UN to review equivalent policies.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State

As outlined in our answer to HL16250, the British Government is taking a number of actions to prevent conflict. In Sub-Saharan Africa, we are:

  • Promoting peace and security in Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali through diplomacy and targeted support. We support UN and French security efforts through direct contributions to MINUSMA in Northern Mali and the deployment of three RAF Chinook helicopters to France’s Counter-Terrorism Operation Barkhane. We work closely with the G5 and other partners to provide life-saving assistance and protection to people on the frontline of conflict. The UK is also focusing on developing programmes to tackle the long-term drivers of instability and poverty.

  • Urging all parties in Benin to engage in dialogue to overcome their differences and find a peaceful solution. We share the concerns of the EU, France, the US and the UN about acts of violence in Benin following the 28 April legislative elections.

  • Regularly addressing the situation in the North-West and South-West (Anglophone) regions of Cameroon with international partners including the UN, EU, Commonwealth and African Union to encourage and support efforts to resolve the crisis. The UK remains deeply concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian and human rights situation in the Anglophone regions and the impact it is having on the lives of ordinary civilians. We have shared experiences with the Government of Cameroon (GoC) on conflict resolution; and remain ready to provide further support. We raised our concerns during briefings at the UN Security Council on 4 and 12 June, and led on a statement with Austria at the UN Human Rights Council in March, which was supported by 39 countries, calling on the GoC to establish a credible political dialogue to address root causes of the conflict.

  • Providing the Central African Republic (CAR) with significant humanitarian spend (£63m since 2013) and core contributions to key multilateral organisations on the ground, such as the World Bank and the EU. Support to UN peacekeeping efforts include assessed contributions (£40.5m per annum to MINUSCA peacekeeping mission and €2m to the EU Training Mission).

  • Pressing our long-term approach to stability in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), including through significant contributions to the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO). We are supporting security reforms, stabilisation and peace building initiatives through DFID programmes and the CSSF.

  • Providing training to Nigeria’s armed forces combat insurgent groups, support communities to better respond and manage the effects of violent conflict, and to support the reintegration of former members of Boko Haram. We are also working closely with the EU, US and UN to provide technical support to the Nigerian Government to address the underlying causes of intercommunal violence affecting many parts of Nigeria, including the recently announced National Livestock Transformation Plan, which aims to mitigate escalating violence between pastoralists and farmers. We are currently reviewing how we might further assist the Nigerian Government in their efforts to tackle conflict in the northeast of the country.

  • Building on the work of the UK-hosted London Conference on Somalia in 2017, which brought together Somalia’s key partners, including the UN, EU and a number of members of the Commonwealth. This established a set of agreements that provide the foundation for a more coherent international approach to Somalia with conflict resolution at its core. We are careful to ensure that all UK policies and programmes in Somalia maintain a focus on conflict sensitivity, and regularly undertake conflict analysis to support this. In particular, our work includes activity under the CSSF to address the drivers of conflict and build capacity at both local and regional levels.

  • Supporting community-based peacebuilding programmes, in concert with the UN and other international partners, namely the African Union, in areas of instability and conflict in Sudan. The UK has a long standing role in supporting sustainable peace in Sudan. As a member of the Troika and bilaterally, we have supported progress in the Peace Process seeking to find a solution to the conflicts in Darfur and the Two Areas. In addition the UK plays a leading role in the UN Security Council, particularly as the penholder on the mandate for UNAMID – the African Union hybrid Mission in Darfur.

  • The Minister for Africa met with Togolese President Gnassingbé and reiterated the importance of delivering 2020 Presidential elections on time and a return to inclusive politics. The UK continues to encourage all parties to avoid violence and respect the human rights of all Togolese people. The UK supports the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) brokered roadmap, along with the EU, which has seen Togo recently adopt two-term limits on presidential terms, in line with other ECOWAS states. The change however does not apply retrospectively and has been rejected by the opposition.

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