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Dublin: 8 °C Friday 18 October, 2019

Irish Defence Forces mission in Mali extended by 12 months

Serious consideration is being given to sending a small contingent of the Irish Army Ranger Wing to Mali.

Image: Defences Forces

THE IRISH DEFENCE Forces mission in Mali is to be extended by 12 months.

There are currently 20 Irish soldiers stationed in the country, working with local troops in Western Africa. 11 of the 20 Irish soldiers are based in the Koulikoro training camp. The other nine are based in the mission headquarters in Bamako.

The government today approved the year-long extension of the mission at Cabinet today.

The members of the Irish Defence Forces are serving with the EU Training Mission (EUTM) in Mali, which came under attack in the early hours of Sunday morning. 

RTÉ reported yesterday that no Irish soldiers were injured in the incident, which involved the explosion of two vehicles at the Koulikoro Training Centre. 

The area is considered to be volatile with a number of attacks taking place in recent years. In 2017, two Irish soldiers who were at a hotel in Mali were located safe and well after it was attacked by suspected jihadists.

In 2016, four members  of the defence forces were uninjured after four gunmen attacked a hotel hosting an EU military training mission in Mali’s capital.

In addition to those already stationed in Mali, it is understood that active and serious consideration is being given to sending a small contingent of the Irish Army Ranger Wing to Mali. 

The elite soldiers are highly-trained members of the Defence Forces. 

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