Thursday, May 29, 2008

Most Expensive Mission To Africa for Irish

The Irish Army peacekeeping mission to Chad will cost the Irish State €77m this year -- or almost €200,000 per soldier -- making it the most expensive in the nation's history!

Because of the economic boom in recent years known as the Celtic Tiger, the UN will not finance any more Irish peace supporting missions. The UN considers Ireland a wealther nation now and able to foot the bill for any overseas action it takes.

The cost of the Chad mission for the first 12 months is set to be €57m, plus a further €20m to transport the Defence Forces there and re-supply them, according to briefing material released under a Freedom of Information request.

The document, prepared for new Government Chief Whip
Pat Carey, also refers to the fact that the wear and tear on Army vehicles, such as the €1m MOWAG carriers, is high due to the "operational demands, poor conditions and harsh climatic environments" in the African nation. "This will be the most expensive operation on which the Defence Forces have ever been deployed," It added: "Given the widespread perception of Irelandd as a wealthy country, we are expected to meet our obligations in an EU context."

The Army already has 229 troops in a camp on the Chad-Darfur border, including 50 members of the elite Army Ranger wing. The numbers will increase to 430 in total this year, bringing the average cost of the mission per soldier to around €180,000 annually.

The paper states that the Army believes it can carry out its key role of protecting an estimated 400,000 refugees from Darfur despite the "medium risk" threat level of operating in a troubled African state.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the State's first UN peacekeeping mission in the Congo and a €175,000 memorial will be unveiled in Dublin's Merrion Square to commemorate Irish soldiers who died in the line of duty.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The UN is a joke.