The United Nations owes 5.6 million euros to the Irish government for peacekeeping performed by the Irish Defense Force. But the debt has not been paid to date, even as the Irish government contemplates sending the troops back to Lebanon in 2011.
According to The Irish Department of Defence, of the more than 5 million currently due to Ireland, the bulk of it relates to the movement of heavy equipment to Chad.
But the unpaid bill has not put a stop to the plan to send 500 Irish soldiers on overseas U.N. duty next year. A spokesman for the Defence Forces confirmed to the press that a mission to Lebanon is currently being explored.
Irish military sources confirmed to the press that the outstanding bill would be refunded and that it wasn't uncommon for the U.N. to owe Ireland money.
"A total €5.6m approximately is due to Ireland, the bulk of which is due in respect of the equipment deployed by the Defence Forces to
the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (Minurcat)," a statement from the Irish Department of Defence read.
"In addition, a claim is currently being processed for submission to the U.N. in respect of the repatriation of equipment from Chad following the recent withdrawal of the Irish Battalion from Minurcat," the statement added.