Written Answers. - Safety of Irish Citizens in Liberia.

Tony Killeen

Question:

26 Mr. Killeen asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs the measures, if any, that have been taken to ensure the safety of all Irish people resident in Liberia in view of the current unrest in the country. [8280/96]

My Department has been carefully monitoring the deterioration of the situation in Liberia. We are aware that 13 Irish citizens were residing in the country when law and order recently broken down in Monrovia, nine of whom were SMA missionary priests.

With the assistance of the European Commission aid co-ordination team in Monrovia ten of our citizens, including six priests, were among a number of EU citizens who were evacuated from the city by the US Embassy in the days immediately following the outbreak of fighting. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Commission staff and the US authorities for their assistance.

Three Irish priests have not been evacuated; they have, I understand, decided to remain in Liberia for the present. They are in relatively safe areas some distances from Monrovia.