Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Questions (60, 61)

Brendan Smith

Question:

60. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the Irish position regarding the independence campaign of the Lunda Tchokwe nation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15468/14]

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Brendan Smith

Question:

61. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he is concerned by the human rights abuses taking place in Lunda Tchokwe; if he has raised these concerns at an EU level; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15469/14]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 60 and 61 together.

I am aware of the situation of the Lunda-Tchokwe people in Angola and that Amnesty International have been following the cases of a number of political activists who have been detained by the Angolan authorities. While my Department has had no specific discussions on the issue raised by the Deputy with the relevant authorities in Angola, our discussions with Governments and civil society partners in Africa more generally include significant dialogue on human rights and good governance. At EU level also, funding to programmes of support are based on political dialogue and human rights progress in all areas.

Ireland, along with our EU Partners, pursues a strategic and comprehensive approach to countries in Africa which continue to suffer the legacy of conflict, including Angola. Through the Irish Embassy in Mozambique which covers Angola, my Department will continue to monitor the situation, including any developments which may emerge in relation to the issues highlighted by the Deputy.