Ireland’s elite Army Ranger Wing may be joining one of the United Nations’ most dangerous peacekeeping missions, like reported by irishmirror.ie.
A request will be put before Cabinet this week for the Army Ranger Wing (ARW), the special operations unit within the Defence Forces, to be deployed to war-torn Mali.
It is understood that Minister of State at the Department of Defence Paul Kehoe will put the request before Cabinet tomorrow, before bringing the proposal before the Dáil.
This would mark the first time in a over a decade when the ARW has been deployed abroad.
The ARW has previously served abroad in East Timor and Liberia, but has not been deployed overseas since serving in Chad in 2008.
The proposed deployment has been under consideration by the Department of Defence and the Defence Forces for a number of months, with the Taoiseach visiting Mali in January.
A spokesman for the Defence Forces told the Irish Daily Mirror: “This is a political decision. It’s with the Government.”
If the proposals are approved, a 12-person team from the ARW would be deployed to conduct long-range patrols as part of the UN’s Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (Minusma) peacekeeping mission.
No members of the Defence Forces are currently serving with the Minusma operation, although it has a separate UN mission in Mali.