Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Questions (109)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

109. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab continue to be contained or restricted by the international community; the extent to which their influence and activity are controlled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53812/19]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

Ireland condemns the reprehensible violence and terror inflicted by Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab.  In its engagement across the relevant regions, Ireland places a strong emphasis on tackling poverty, hunger and exclusion that contribute to fostering violence, radicalisation and terrorism. 

At a bilateral level the Government continues to work to promote and sustain peace in West Africa and the Horn of Africa, including through the Embassies of Ireland in Nairobi and Abuja.  Since 2016 Ireland has provided approximately €17 million in humanitarian funding to states in the Lake Chad region.  In November, the Embassy in Abuja participated in the Inaugural Steering Committee Meeting of the Lake Chad Basin Regional Stabilisation Strategy.  The Lake Chad Basin Commission (LBC) and the African Union (AU) Commission with the support of the UNDP, have developed this Regional Strategy for the Stabilisation, Recovery and Resilience of the Boko Haram-affected areas of the Lake Chad Basin. 

Ireland has also been a consistent supporter of the humanitarian response in Somalia, providing over €45 million in humanitarian assistance since 2012, including to communities displaced by conflict in Al-Shabaab held areas.  Ireland also supports EU initiatives to promote peace and security in East Africa including through capacity-building programmes that ensure that local security forces are better resourced to tackle terrorism.  The EU also maintains three Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions in the region; EUTM Somalia, EUNAVFOR Operation Atalanta and EUCAP Somalia.  Chris Reynolds, the former Director of the Irish Coast Guard, was appointed to lead EUCAP Somalia in September and there are four other Irish nationals deployed to EUCAP.  The EU is one of the key financial contributors to the UN-mandated African Union-led peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM) which supports the Federal Government of Somalia in its efforts to combat Al-Shabaab and stabilise the country.  The EU has also pledged €50 million in funding to the Multinational Joint Taskforce to improve security in West African territories affected by Boko Haram.