Written answers

Thursday, 21 March 2024

Photo of Patrick CostelloPatrick Costello (Dublin South Central, Green Party)
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53. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if Ireland plans to recommit personnel to the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) mission. [13141/24]

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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Following a review of overseas deployments, a decision was taken in July 2021 to withdraw the two Defence Forces' personnel deployed to MINURSO, thereby ending Ireland’s involvement in this mission. The withdrawal of these personnel arose from a need to consolidate operational deployments, in the context of the commitments to peacekeeping entered into by Ireland at that time.

The Department of Defence and the Defence Forces constantly review the deployment of Irish personnel overseas. Any decision with regard to future deployments of Defence Forces personnel, including any possible return to MINURSO, would have to be considered by reference to a number of other considerations, including the resourcing of the mission, the level of existing commitments to other peacekeeping operations, and the security requirements at home.

I can assure the Deputy however that Ireland remains a strong supporter of the United Nations engagement in the Western Sahara, including the role played by the MINURSO mission.


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