Government announces deployment of Emergency Civil Assistance Team
Press release23 April 2023
The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD and Tánaiste, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Micheál Martin TD, have announced that the Government has approved the deployment of an Emergency Civil Assistance Team (ECAT) mission. The mission will involve Defence Forces personnel, in support of Department of Foreign Affairs officials, to assist with the process of evacuating Irish citizens and their dependents from the crisis in Sudan.
The government remains deeply concerned by the situation in Sudan and the Irish Embassy in Nairobi and the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin are in ongoing contact with over 150 Irish citizens in Sudan. The Department has also been working actively with our international partners to arrange for the evacuation of Irish citizens. Such evacuation operations are highly sensitive given the volatile security situation on the ground.
The government has decided that up to 12 Defence Forces personnel will be deployed initially to Djibouti as part of an Emergency Civil Assistance Team (ECAT) mission led by the Department of Foreign Affairs, in conjunction with the Department of Defence. The ECAT mission will provide consular and other assistance to Irish citizens and their dependents being evacuated from Sudan.
The Taoiseach said:
“The situation in the Sudanese capital Khartoum has got worse in the last few days, and violence is being reported across the city. The Irish Defence Forces personnel and Department of Foreign Affairs officers being deployed will make every effort to provide advice and assistance to the 150 or so Irish nationals in Sudan.
“The situation on the ground in Sudan remains extremely volatile and I wish the ECAT and Defence Forces team every success in this mission.”
The Tánaiste said:
“Today’s decision by Government is a continuation of the substantial, intensive work that the Department of Foreign Affairs has been engaged in since this recent outbreak of violence in Sudan.
“Above all, our primary aim is to offer our citizens every assistance through what has been an extremely difficult and challenging time.”
Officials of the Department will arrive in Djibouti today. The duration of the mission will be dependent on the progress that can be made, the security situation on the ground and decisions on extraction by partners.
We are currently in contact with Irish citizens who have registered with our Embassy. Every effort is being made to assist them.
Citizens should follow the Embassy of Ireland in Kenya on Twitter (@IrlEmbKenya) for updated advice. If urgent, the Embassy's out of hours consular assistance phone line can be contacted at +254 716 353 999, and the Department of Foreign Affairs can be contacted at +353 1 408 2000.
23 April 2023