Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2017-19 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
Asked by Lord Storey
Asked on: 06 June 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Yemen: Religious Freedom
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what are the specific criteria for selecting and deselecting target countries for the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative.
Answered on: 13 June 2016

The Government has pursued or supported Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative activity in a wide range of countries over the last four years, including Burma, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Kosovo, Mali, Nepal, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka and Syria. The criteria used for selecting and deselecting these target countries take into account a number of factors. These include the extent and impact of sexual violence in the country under consideration, the national and international response to date and the particular role the UK can play in reinforcing or complementing existing efforts.

Q
Asked by Lord Judd
Asked on: 23 May 2016
Ministry of Defence
Corruption
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what are the tasks and role of the UK military personnel committed to service in Somalia.
A
Answered by: Earl Howe
Answered on: 06 June 2016

The UK currently has 27 military personnel deployed in Somalia. Of those, 25 personnel are supporting the UN and EU Missions, providing training, mentoring, and logistical support to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), and developing the Somali National Army. The purpose of those Missions is to counter the terrorist threat from Al Shabaab and to help strengthen security and stability within Somalia and the wider East Africa region. The 25 includes the first eight personnel committed by the Prime Minister to the UN in Somalia at the UN General Assembly session in September 2015. The total current UK deployment of 27 military personnel is completed by a Defence Attaché and Assistant Defence Attaché at the British Embassy in Mogadishu.

Q
Asked by Lord Judd
Asked on: 24 May 2016
Ministry of Defence
Trams
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many people, and of what nationalities, the UK is training as international peacekeepers; what is the form of such training; and by which UK personnel it is provided.
A
Answered by: Earl Howe
Answered on: 06 June 2016

Her Majesty's Government makes a significant contribution to improving the effectiveness of peacekeeping forces through its training activities.

The Ministry of Defence delivers training to overseas militaries through the deployment of Short Term Training Teams (STTTs) and deployable experts, and via our overseas training establishments:

- British Peace Support Team (East Africa) (BPST(EA)), focused on delivering training to African Mission in Somalia contributing countries.

- British Peace Support Training (South Africa) (BPST(SA)), focused on training troops deployed to West Africa (Cote D'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Mali).

- British Military Advisory Training Team (Czech Republic) (BMATT Czech), providing Peace Support Operations (PSOs) training to partner nations including Slovenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, and Romania.

- Peace Support Operations Training Centre (PSOTC) (Sarajevo), delivering training to personnel from Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH) and other countries including Austria, Croatia, Turkey, Tunisia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.

These establishments provide training on a range of themes including theatre specific pre-deployment training, as well as courses on gender, Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI), and Human Trafficking. The training is carried out by a wide variety of UK Armed Forces personnel, most of whom are dedicated trainers in their fields. They also draw on the expertise of other specialists within the Forces.

In the last 12 months, BPST(EA) and deployed UK-based Short Term Training Teams have trained more than 7,000 soldiers and police from nine countries through 68 different training tasks. Training is adapted depending on the needs of the country. BPSTs adjust courses to include high-end technological intelligence training, logistics, counter-IED, and leadership and operational planning.

In the same period, BPST(SA) has trained 1,700 Malawian military personnel in preparation for their deployment to the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO). In the coming year, 600-800 Zambian troops are due to be trained by BPST(SA) before their deployment to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).

BMATT Czech has provided training in Peace Support Operations to 424 personnel from partner countries, a number of whom are now capable of delivering Peace Support Operation training in-country themselves.

PSOTC, now under command of BiH forces, supported by UK trainers, has trained 46 military personnel from a number of countries in preventing sexual violence in conflict.

Q
(Cardiff South and Penarth)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 24 May 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Somalia: Somaliland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent reports he has received on Turkish facilitated talks between Somalia and Somaliland.
A
Answered by: James Duddridge
Answered on: 06 June 2016

The next round of Turkish facilitated talks between the Federal Government of Somalia and Somaliland were due to take place in Ankara on 31 May but we understand that they have been delayed. We hope that the talks, which are an effort to promote genuine dialogue and cooperation, will be able to continue shortly.

Q
(Cardiff South and Penarth)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 24 May 2016
Department for International Development
Somaliland: Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much official development assistance the Government has dispersed to Somaliland (a) bilaterally (b) through the EU and (c) through UN institutions in each of the last six years.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 06 June 2016

The Government does not compile formal aid expenditure statistics broken down at sub-national level. Information on UK Government bilateral spend in Somalia, which includes spend in Somaliland, is shown in the table attached for calendar years 2009 to 2014. Data for 2015 will be available in Statistics on International Development due out in the autumn of 2016.

UK spend in Somalia 2009-2014 (Word Document, 21.81 KB)
Q
(Salford and Eccles)
Asked on: 24 May 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Ethiopia: Military Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what military support has been provided to the government of Ethiopia in the last five years; what such support he plans to provide in the next five years; and whether the UK currently provides training for Ethiopian security or military personnel.
A
Answered by: James Duddridge
Answered on: 01 June 2016

Ethiopia is one of the world’s largest peacekeeping troop contributors, heavily engaged in the fight against Al Shabaab in neighbouring Somalia which is vital to build stability in the region and to UK interests. The UK maintains a Defence relationship with the Ethiopian Ministry of National Defence, focused on education and training in non-combat areas. Over the past five years that has been centred on assisting in the setting up of the Ethiopian Peace Support Training Centre, and providing courses that give members of the Ethiopian military an improved range of non-combat skills as they serve on regional peace support operations. We have run a successful programme of English language training, delivered by the British Council, and a Masters course in Security Sector Management, for students from across the Eastern Africa region. We have provided a small number of places to Ethiopian military students on courses in the UK.

The importance of good governance, accountability and respect for human rights is central to this programme of engagement. Over the next five years, we will continue to focus on helping Ethiopia to develop its capability to conduct peace support operations in the region, and continue to encourage improved governance and accountability within the security sector.

Q
Asked by Lord Hylton
Asked on: 18 May 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Asylum
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their policy regarding Somali refugees in Kenya and the presence of Kenyan armed forces in Somalia.
Answered on: 26 May 2016

The Government recognises the significant burden that the Government of Kenya faces in housing a large number of Somali refugees. We encourage the Government of Kenya to maintain its global leadership role on this issue as well as its international obligations. We, and the international community, support the continued dialogue with the Government of Somalia and the Tripartite agreement which provides a legal framework for the voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees.

We strongly support Kenyan troops deployed to Somalia as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). AMISOM has made important progress against Al Shabaab since 2007, who continue to pose a significant terrorist threat in Somali and the region. We greatly value the contribution made by Kenya and the other troop contributing countries, and recognise the sacrifices that the Kenyan Defence Forces are making.

Q
Asked by Lord Radice
Asked on: 26 April 2016
Ministry of Defence
Somalia: Piracy
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what contribution the Royal Navy has made to Operation Atalanta, and what contribution it is expected to make in the future.
A
Answered by: Earl Howe
Answered on: 09 May 2016

The United Kingdom fulfils its enduring commitment through the provision of the two-star Operation Commander (Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces and Commander United Kingdom Amphibious Forces in rotation). The UK also contributes Operation Headquarters facilities (OHQ) at Northwood and on average 60 members of OHQ staff, approximately 40% of the total OHQ.

The Royal Navy (RN) will continue to contribute to Operation Atalanta. In addition the RN maintains a constant presence in the Gulf region. Anti-piracy and anti-terrorism measures are among a number of concurrent tasks carried out by the RN and supporting assets.

Q
(East Renfrewshire)
Asked on: 25 April 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Piracy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had (a) with his international counterparts and (b) within international organisations on piracy affecting merchant shipping in international waters.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 04 May 2016

The UK plays a leading role in international efforts to suppress piracy affecting merchant shipping. UK officials helped ensure the mandate of Operation Atalanta, the EU’s counter piracy naval mission, was extended until 2018. The UK is also co-chair of the working group on capacity building of the [UN] Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.

We also support west and central African states to develop their maritime strategies and improve their ability to secure their territorial waters, using a combination of military expertise, development assistance and diplomatic support.

In South East Asia, the UK is a member of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against ships in Asia (ReCAAP) and has helped improve information sharing and enhanced cooperation.

Q
(Hornsey and Wood Green)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 27 April 2016
Department for International Development
Africa: Female Genital Mutilation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much her Department allocated to schemes that tackle female genital mutilation in (a) Egypt, (b) Sudan, (c) Mali, (d) Somalia, (e) Sierra Leone and (f) Guinea.
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 04 May 2016

DFID has a regional programme which is providing up to £35 million to end FGM in 17 high prevalence countries including Egypt, Sudan, Mali, Somalia and Guinea. This programme works in a flexible manner across borders.

DFID’s regional programme is complemented by a £12 million country programme in Sudan to support the scale up of initiatives to end FGM. In Somalia, a new £10 million programme is aimed at improving women’s participation in decision-making and tackling harmful social norms including FGM.

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