Eritrea: Politics and Government

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 1st October 2019.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent representations they have made to the government of Eritrea about (1) ending indefinite conscription, and (2) parliamentarians who have been detained since 2001; and what additional aid, if any, was allocated to Eritrea as a result of international sanctions being lifted.

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

An error has been identified in the written answer given on 09 September 2019.

The correct answer should have been:

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

We continue to be concerned by reports that indefinite conscription is ongoing in Eritrea. We raise human rights in Eritrea regularly, both directly with the Government, as the former Minister for Africa did with the Eritrean President's senior adviser when she saw him in July, and when our Ambassador in Asmara saw the same advisor in August.

In a statement at the 41st session of the UN Human Rights Council on 12 July the UK welcomed the renewal of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, which we co-sponsored. The UK also urged Eritrea to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur and to reform national service, implement the constitution, respect freedom of religion or belief, and release all those in arbitrary detention – including, but not exclusive to detained parliamentarians; journalists; and those observing banned religions.

No additional aid has been allocated as a result of sanctions being lifted. The Department for International Development (DfID) has funded life-saving activity in Eritrea for several years, including providing £3.24m to UNICEF in 2018-19 to help treat malnutrition in under-fives and provide access to safe hygiene and sanitation services. DFID has extended this funding to UNICEF Eritrea until March 2021.

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

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

We continue to be concerned by reports that indefinite conscription is ongoing in Eritrea. We raise human rights in Eritrea regularly, both directly with the Government, as the former Minister for Africa did with the Eritrean President's senior adviser when she saw him in July, and when our Ambassador in Asmara saw the same advisor in August.

In a statement at the 41st session of the UN Human Rights Council on 12 July the UK welcomed the renewal of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, which we co-sponsored. The UK also urged Eritrea to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur and to reform national service, implement the constitution, respect freedom of religion or belief, and release all those in arbitrary detention – including, but not exclusive to detained parliamentarians; journalists; and those observing banned religions.

No additional aid has been allocated as a result of sanctions being lifted. The Department for International Development (DfID) has funded life-saving activity in Eritrea for several years, including providing £3.24m to UNICEF in 2018-19 to help treat malnutrition in under-fives and provide access to safe hygiene and sanitation services. DFID has extended this funding to UNICEF Eritrea until March 2021.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.