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Foreign Office Questions

15th May 2018

Harriett Baldwin answers MPs’ questions in relation to her Foreign & Commonwealth Office brief of Africa.


Jessica Morden (Newport East) (Lab)
1. What recent discussions he has had with his Cameroonian counterpart on the level of violence in that country. [905281]

The Minister for Africa (Harriett Baldwin)
I visited Cameroon in February and met the Cameroonian Prime Minister, and the Foreign Secretary met him at the Commonwealth meetings in London in April. In all our discussions with Cameroonian Ministers, we have stressed the importance of inclusive dialogue and not resorting to violence.

Jessica Morden
A constituent of mine from Cameroon who sought asylum here has been highlighting the ongoing violence and the brutality committed by the Government in Anglophone regions, and the acute refugee crisis that that has caused. I know that the Department has been raising these issues, but what more can Ministers do to help to get a meaningful process going to address the issues and end the violence?

Harriett Baldwin
I am delighted that the hon. Lady has managed to get this important issue on the Order Paper and up for discussion in the House of Commons, because it is a serious situation. There is violence from all sides in Cameroon and we are extremely concerned about the situation. We are encouraging not only the Government there but all Cameroonians to participate in a process of inclusive dialogue. It is an election year and the election must take place without people resorting to violence.


Topical Questions

Hugh Gaffney (Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill) (Lab)
T3. If a British citizen from England or Wales dies abroad there is a further post-mortem when the body returns to the UK, but those from Scotland, such as my late constituent Craig Mallon who died in 2012, are not entitled to another post-mortem and the one conducted by the other country—in this case Spain—seems to be accepted. This year it will be six years since Craig Mallon died— [905307]

Mr Speaker
Order. What we need from the hon. Gentleman is a sentence with a question mark at the end. I do not wish to be unkind to the hon. Gentleman, of whom I am very fond, but we are very short of time. Blurt it out, man.

Hugh Gaffney
Craig Mallon died six years ago, after just one post-mortem; his mother died recently, broken-hearted. Will the Minister meet me to discuss that case?

The Minister for Africa (Harriett Baldwin)
May I draw the hon. Gentleman’s attention to a new all-party group that has been set up to investigate deaths abroad in suspicious circumstances?


Jeremy Lefroy (Stafford) (Con)
What assessment have the Government made of the human rights and political situation in Burundi at the moment?

Harriett Baldwin
We are very concerned about the situation in Burundi. There is a referendum there this week and, as my hon. Friend will know, Her Majesty’s Government continue to send messages about the need to respect the Arusha peace accords and to respect democracy in Burundi.


Peter Grant (Glenrothes) (SNP)
What steps are the Government taking to ensure that the Zimbabwean Government understand the importance of proper reparations for UK citizens who have been the victims of serious crimes committed allegedly by associates of the present and previous Governments of Zimbabwe?

Harriett Baldwin
As we call on the Zimbabwean Government to hold free and fair elections this year, we are also making representations to them. I have personally made representations on behalf of the hon. Gentleman’s constituent to the Zimbabwean Foreign Minister.


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