|O’Dea gets Cabinet approval for Irish Army role in Sierra Leone|
December 6th 2005
|Minister for Defence Willie O’Dea TD sought Government approval today (December 6th 2005) to allow members of the Irish Permanent Defence Forces serving as part of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) to be deployable to Sierra Leone in a new extended role for UNMIL. The role, provided for under UN Security Council Resolution 1638, will be to provide security detail for the Special Court in Freetown and to evacuate officials in the event of a serious security crisis which could be likely. The approval was granted by Cabinet today and it will now immediately go forward for Dáil approval – the third element necessary for Ireland’s participation, under the Triple Lock mechanism.|
The Special Court in Freetown was established by the UN and the Government of Sierra Leone to put on trial those charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity during the country’s Civil War between 1991 – 2002. The Court is presided over by 6 trial judges including one Irish judge, and 5 appeal judges. Ireland has been a strong supporter of the Court and has provided over €1 million to it.
“13 people have been indicted by the Court already. 9 are in custody in Freetown, 2 are now deceased and 1 is currently missing presumed dead. The remaining indictee is the former President of Liberia Charles Taylor who has been in exile in Nigeria since August 2003. The possible extradition of Charles Taylor would serve to heighten tensions in the area and would have a serious impact on the security situation. As part of the UN Resolution approved today by my Cabinet colleagues and I, the Irish troops’ role in Liberia has been extended to include the apprehension, detention and transfer to the Special Court in Freetown in the event of Charles Taylor’s return to Liberia,” added Minister O’Dea.
“The security situation in Freetown is likely to become tense and more volatile when verdicts in the case of some detainees are handed down in January 2006 and this is the proposed start date for a mission by the Irish contingent,” according to Minister O’Dea.
“On a wider scale the Cabinet also approved today the continued deployment of the Irish Defence Forces for peacekeeping service in Liberia and Bosnia and Herzegovina for a further period of 12 months from this month. Ireland’s involvement in the UN Mission in Liberia commenced in December 2003 and 427 personnel make up the Irish contingent while Ireland’s involvement in EUFOR in Bosnia and Herzegovina dates back to December 2004 with 56 personnel currently serving there,” concluded Minister O’Dea.
29 May 2006Statement by the Minister for Defence on the International Day of the Peacekeeper 2006, 29/05/06
4 May 2006Speech by Mr. Willie O’Dea, T.D., Minister for Defence at the review of 95th Infantry Battalion due to leave on peacekeeping duty with UNMIL, 04/05/06
5 May 2005SPEECH BY MR. WILLIE O'DEA, T.D., MINISTER FOR DEFENCE AT THE REVIEW OF 93rd INFANTRY BATTALION DUE TO LEAVE ON PEACEKEEPING DUTY WITH UNMIL, 5th MAY 2005
4 November 2004Speech by Mr. Willie O'Dea, T.D., Minister for Defence at the Review of 92 Infantry Battalion due to leave on peacekeeping duty with UNMIL, 4 November 2004
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