Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Questions (584)

Andrew Doyle

Question:

584. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Defence if the Irish Defence Forces will be deployed to Mali from 1 July as per the United Nations Security Council resolution of 25 June 2013 regarding a UN peacekeeping force made up of 12,600 troops; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31847/13]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

On 25 April 2013, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2100 (2013) establishing a Peacekeeping Force in the West African nation of Mali. Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council established the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, known as MINUSMA, for an initial period of twelve (12) months. The new mission replaced the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA), on 1 July 2013, when African personnel originally deployed to AFISMA were rehatted to MINUSMA.

The UN initiated a force generation process for MINUSMA in May 2013. It is understood that the UN has since received offers for all units required with the exception of some enablers e.g. air and medical assets and staff officers for the mission headquarters. It is anticipated that the UN will invite Member States to meet this shortfall. While no formal request has yet been received by Ireland in this regard, my Department in concert with the military authorities is considering potential options for a Defence Forces contribution to the mission and is consulting partners and other EU Member States in this regard.

On 26 February 2013, the Government approved the deployment of approximately eight (8) members of the Permanent Defence Force for service with the EU Training Mission in Mali (EUTM Mali). Three (3) Officers and five (5) Non-commissioned Officers were deployed to EUTM Mali on 23 March 2013, for a tour of duty of approximately five months. The purpose of the mission is to provide military training and advice to the Malian Armed Forces in order to improve their capacity to maintain security, and restore the authority of the Malian Government and the territorial integrity of the Malian State.