U.K. responds to allegations that White Phosphorus has been used in Tigray and says “The Government of Ethiopia has denied that Chemical Weapons have been used. We are working to establish the facts.” But white phosphorus isn’t a designated chemical weapon and if they fail to identify its use they will be giving a misleading answer by asking the wrong question.

Jun 7, 2021 | Featured parliamentary activity

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL420):

Question by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of allegations reported in the Europe External Africa Report on Tigray, published on 19 May, that internationally banned chemical weapons have been used in the villages of Tigray; and what steps they are taking (1) to verify these reports, and (2), if confirmed, to hold those responsible to account. (HL420)

Tabled on: 20 May 2021

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

The UK is appalled by reports of atrocities in Tigray and is aware of recent reports that civilians have again been victims of indiscriminate shelling. It is clear that the conflict in Tigray is being conducted with little regard for civilian welfare and as a consequence reports of civilian casualties are all too common.

Ethiopia is a state party of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and has not declared any Chemical Weapons programme. The Government of Ethiopia has denied that Chemical Weapons have been used. We are working to establish the facts. Access to the affected areas, and to verified information, remains difficult. We have consistently called for access for independent human rights investigators and will continue to do so.

Date and time of answer: 07 Jun 2021 at 13:01.

Lord David Alton

For 18 years David Alton was a Member of the House of Commons and today he is an Independent Crossbench Life Peer in the UK House of Lords.

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