Lord Sheikh’s Written Parliamentary Questions on Eritrea and Ethiopia

Question:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the peace deal brokered in 2018 between Eritrea and Ethiopia. (HL17426)  

Answer:

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: In a statement by the former Minister for Africa, we welcomed the Eritrea/Ethiopia peace agreement, signed on 9 July 2018. At the UN Human Rights Council on 12 July the UK reiterated its strong support for the peace deal and remains hopeful that it will contribute to stability and prosperity in the two countries. We welcome the visit of Prime Minister Abiy to Eritrea on 18-19 July and the re-commitment of both sides to further progress in their bilateral relationship.

Question:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the current status of indefinite conscription in Eritrea. (HL17425)

Answer:

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: We continue to be deeply concerned by reports that indefinite conscription is ongoing in Eritrea. We raise concerns about human rights in Eritrea regularly, both directly with the Government, as the former Minister for Africa did with the Eritrean Foreign Minister in September 2018, and in international fora. In a statement at the 41st session of the UN Human Rights council on 12 July the UK welcomed the renewal of the Special Rapporteur’s mandate, which we co-sponsored. The UK also urged Eritrea to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea and to reform national service.

Question: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assistance, if any, they are providing to Eritrea and Ethiopia in ratifying a trade agreement. (HL17428) 

Answer:

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: We continue to engage with Eritrea and Ethiopia as well as our regional and international partners to facilitate further progress of the peace deal they signed, including by seeking to identify practical ways to support improved ties and trade. We are encouraged that the Prime Minister of Ethiopia met with the Eritrean Prime Minister on 18 July in Asmara on the anniversary of the resumption of flights between the two countries. We remain hopeful that this will lead to further progress in implementation of their peace agreement.

Question:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the recent border closure between Eritrea and Ethiopia. (HL17427) 

Answer:

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: We are aware of reports that the border between Eritrea and Ethiopia remains closed and are concerned of the impact this has on the Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship deal between Eritrea and Ethiopia that was signed last year. We urge the two countries to ensure the agreement is fully implemented in order to bring stability and prosperity to their countries and the Horn of Africa region. We welcome the visit of Prime Minister Abiy to Eritrea on 18-19 July and both sides re-commitment towards this.

Updated: 10/01/2020 — 1:49 PM