Written answers

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Department of Defence

Official Engagements

5:00 pm

Photo of John CurranJohn Curran (Dublin Mid West, Fianna Fail)
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Question 48: To ask the Minister for Defence if he will report on his recent visit to Bosnia Herzegovina; the meetings he had while there; the nature of duties being undertaken by Irish troops based there; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13505/08]

Photo of Tom KittTom Kitt (Minister of State (Government Chief Whip), Department of An Taoiseach; Minister of State, Department of Defence; Dublin South, Fianna Fail)
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During the period of the 4th — 6th March 2008, Minister Willie O'Dea visited troops serving with EUFOR in Bosnia and Herzegovina and met the Senior Irish Officer (SIO) EUFOR and the Irish Contingent Commander. There are currently 29 countries contributing to EUFOR and the force now numbers some 2,500 troops. Ireland contributes 45 members of the Irish Defence Forces to EUFOR.

The Minister also had meetings with the High Representative EUSR Mr. Miraslav Lajcak, the Commander of EUFOR, Major General Ignacio Martín Villalaín and the Head of the European Police Mission (EUPM), Brigadier General Vincenzo Coppola. Within the Force, Ireland provides personnel for the headquarters, the Military Police Unit, Verification Teams and a National Support Element (which co-ordinates logistics support for the Irish contingent). All Irish personnel are located at Camp Butmir, Sarajevo.

The role of the Verification Teams, established under the Dayton Agreement, is to monitor arms caches and arms movements by the two forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The teams are advised as to weapons purchases and movements, inspect the arms holdings of the two forces and monitor movements, to ensure that both sides comply with their obligations under the Dayton accord.

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