Tuesday, 5 March 2019
Department of Defence
Defence Forces Operations
106. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if the deployment of Defence Forces personnel under the EUTM in Mali was authorised under section 3 of the Defence (Amendment) Act 2006; if the operation is considered training for the purposes of the Act; if authorisation was sought from Dáil Éireann prior to or since the deployment of Defence Forces personnel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10751/19]
107. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the operations that have been approved under section 3(1)(b) of the Defence (Amendment) Act 2006; the number of personnel involved in each operation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10752/19]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 106 and 107 together.
Ireland has participated in the EU Training Mission in Mali, known as EUTM Mali, since the mission was launched in 2013. The Government recently approved the continued provision of up to 20 members of the Permanent Defence Force for service with EUTM Mali for a further 12 months. Members of the Defence Forces are deployed to this mission in a training role, which is consistent with the provisions of Section 3(1)(b) and 3 (1)(d) of the Defence (Amendment) Act 2006. No Dáil Éireann approval for such deployments is required.
EUTM Mali is part of a wider EU effort in support of international peace and security in the wider Sahel region. The mission is being undertaken at the request of the Malian Government and has the support of a UN Security Council Resolution.
A United Nations Security Council Resolution is not required to underpin a Defence Forces deployment for training purposes. However, the training of the Malian Defence and Security Forces is specifically provided for in relevant United Nations Security Resolutions (UNSR). UNSR 2295 (2016) commends "the role of the European Union Training mission (EUTM Mali) in Mali in providing training and advice for the Malian Defence and Security Forces, including contributing to the strengthening of civilian authority and respect for human rights". The role of EUTM Mali is consistent with the provisions of the UN Security Council Resolution.