Government and Dáil approval was received in June of this year for the deployment of a contingent of the Permanent Defence Force to participate in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, MINUSMA.
MINUSMA was established on 25 April 2013 by UN Security Council Resolution 2100 to stabilise the country after the Tuareg rebellion in 2012. The role of the mission is to ensure security, stabilisation and protection of civilians; supporting national political dialogue and reconciliation; assisting in the re-establishment of state authority; the rebuilding of the security sector; and the promotion and protection of human rights in Mali.
Two officers deployed on 7 September to Bamako, where the MINUSMA force headquarters is located. They have since completed some initial training and have taken up their respective roles in the force headquarters. An additional 11 personnel drawn from the Army Ranger Wing, ARW, deployed with the German armed forces to Camp Castor in Gao, Mali, on 12 September 2019.
All deployed personnel are currently embedding with the larger German company and are carrying out assigned tasks in accordance with the mission mandate.
The ARW will deploy as a team to carry out surveillance and intelligence-gathering operations. They will deploy as part of a larger intelligence surveillance reconnaissance company and, therefore, would not be deployed in isolation. The task force utilises technology via unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs, and human sources, that is, personnel on the ground engaging with local people, to gather intelligence for the UN mission. The ARW will support this effort by providing personnel to undertake these tasks. While the Army Ranger Wing team will engage on a day-to-day basis with the individuals in the local population as part of their intelligence and information-gathering remit, they will benefit from the security effort that is in place to protect the full company.
This MINUSMA deployment is for a period of 24 months from September 2019 to September 2021.