War in Sudan: the Kerry connection
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore answered a parliamentary question about the discovery of apparently Irish-made parts in the drone found in the Nuba Mountains. Gilmore said Ireland was a “strong supporter” of UN and EU initiatives aimed at restricting the flow of military equipment to Sudan, and he added that the Government is fully committed to compliance with these measures.
“I would be concerned if equipment manufactured in Ireland was being used by the military in operations against the civilian population,” he said. Gilmore noted that the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation is responsible for issuing licences in respect of exports of controlled goods and technology listed in the EU dual-use regulations and the EU military list.
“I am informed that no licences have been issued in the past four years in respect of controlled technology intended for export to either Sudan or to the Sudanese authorities,” he said.
Gilmore said his officials had brought the reports that Irish-made parts were found in the drone used in the Nuba Mountains to the attention of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
That department has now investigated the matter, and issued the following statement. “Without access to all parts of the item identified in the Channel 4 documentary it is not possible to ascertain whether or not the component was made by the Irish company mentioned in recent media reports . . . It is considered its products are standard engineered products designed for small motors. These products do not fall within the categories of mandatory controlled products that require an export license before being exported from Ireland or the EU.
“However,” the statement continued, the department “has decided to impose additional reporting requirements in relation to exports of the above components to EU embargoed countries.”