Written Answers. - Overseas Missions.

Joan Burton

Ceist:

105 Ms Burton asked the Minister for Defence the number of Irish troops to be sent to operate with the UN in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; the mandate or terms of reference under which they will operate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18766/03]

Two officers of the Permanent Defence Force have been deployed as military liaison officers, to the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, MONUC, since mid-2001.

Responding to the recent fighting and atrocities in the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, DRC, and the gravity of the humanitarian situation in the town of Bunia, the principal town in Ituri, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1484 on 30 May 2003. Resolution 1484 authorises the deployment of an Interim Emergency Multinational Force in Bunia to contribute to the security and humanitarian situation in the Ituri region. The force will operate under Chapter VII of the UN Charter

In response to a request from the UN Secretary General, the EU took the decision to lead the new force, with France as framework nation. The objective of the EU force is to contribute to the stabilisation of the security conditions and the improvement of the security situation in Bunia and is fully in accordance with the UN mandate.

The EU force, amounting to some 1,500 personnel in total, will be deployed for a period of 90 days, pending the expansion and reinforcement of MONUC.

Five Defence Forces personnel are being deployed to this mission. Three members of the Permanent Defence Force will be based in the operational HQ in Paris and two members will be based in the force HQ, initially in Entebbe, Uganda, before relocation to Bunia.

Question No. 106 answered with Question No. 68.

Question No. 107 answered with Question No. 73.
Question No. 108 answered with Question No. 86.