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Dáil approval to send Ireland's Army Ranger Wing to Mali

The mission has been described as the most dangerous UN peacekeeping mission in the world.

Army Ranger Wing (File Photo)
Army Ranger Wing (File Photo)
Image: eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THE DÁIL HAS today approved a proposal to send Ireland’s Army Ranger Wing to join the UN mission in Mali.

The ranger wing will join the UN mission MINUSMA (Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali), which was was established in April 2013 after an upsurge in violence.

Today’s approval comes after nearly 100 people were killed in an overnight attack in a village in central Mali earlier this month. 

Minister of State for Defence Paul Kehoe has said that the decision to send the Army Ranger Wing to Mali was “taken after careful planning and consideration and demonstrates our commitment to UN peace and security”. 

Army Ranger Wing personnel will now be deployed to the west African country, the first time the unit has been called into action since being deployed to Chad in 2008.

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The mission has been described as the most dangerous UN peacekeeping mission in the world, and comes amid heightened tensions and attacks on ethnic minorities in the country.

Proponents of sending Irish troops have stressed the importance of Ireland’s participation in such missions, but critics say it would endanger Irish troops and compromise the State’s neutrality.

The proposal was passed in the Dáil this afternoon by 77 votes to 39. 

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