Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (467)

Paul Murphy


467. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Defence if members of the Permanent Defence Forces including the Army Ranger Wing are still deployed in Mali; if so, the nature of their mission; and if there is a timeline for their withdrawal. [38726/20]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

Government and Dáil approval was received in June 2019 for the deployment of a contingent of the Permanent Defence Forces to participate in MINUSMA, the United Nations authorised operation in Mali.

MINUSMA was established on 25 April 2013 by UN Security Council Resolution 2100 to stabilise the country after the Tuareg rebellion (2012). The role of the mission is to ensure security, stabilization and protection of civilians; supporting national political dialogue and reconciliation; and assisting the reestablishment of State authority, the rebuilding of the security sector, and the promotion and protection of human rights in Mali.

Currently, there are 2 officers deployed in MINUSMA Force Headquarters in Bamako and an additional 12 personnel, including members of the Army Ranger Wing, deployed with the German Armed Forces at Camp Castor in GAO, Mali. All deployed personnel are currently embedded with the larger German company and are carrying out assigned tasks in accordance with the mission mandate.

With regard to the continued involvement of Defence Forces personnel in MINUSMA, I can advise that Government has approved the participation of up to 14 Defence Forces personnel, drawn primarily from the Army Ranger Wing, in the MINUSMA mission up to September 2021. The matter will be reviewed next year by my Department in consultation with the Defence Forces and a decision will be made with regard to the continued deployment of Defence Forces personnel to this mission, in line with Government approval.

In addition to the UN mission., there are 20 members of the DF currently serving the EU training mission in Mali, (EUTM Mali). The Defence Forces first deployed to this mission in 2014, and their continued participation is kept under regular review.

The Department of Defencereviews the deployment of Defence Forces Personnel overseas on an ongoing basis. Ireland receives requests, from time to time, in relation to participation in various missions and these are considered on a case-by-case basis.