Saturday, April 13, 2024

ISIS defeat funding enters new phase

Aotearoa New Zealand’s contribution to the Global Coalition to Defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (D-ISIS) will “refocus” following the depletion of ISIS as a fighting force, the Government has announced.

“Aotearoa New Zealand has been a proud member of the 84-nation Coalition, which has been successful in degrading the military capability of ISIS. This means our focus is now on stabilising Iraq to prevent ISIS rebuilding in the region,” said Foreign Minister, Nanaia Mahuta.

“Our support builds on the NZ$39 million in international development co-operation funding to Iraq since 2002, which has focussed on humanitarian support and stabilisation measures to respond to violent extremism.

“Since the establishment of the Coalition in 2014, contributions from the New Zealand Aid Programme have focused on stabilisation efforts, removal of explosive remnants of war and reintegration of Internally Displaced Persons in Iraq,” she said.

The new non-military contribution includes up to NZ$4 million over the next three years. It will support the Coalition’s stabilisation programme in Iraq, including renewed efforts to counter online communications operations by ISIS. This is in addition to the one year extension of a New Zealand military deployment of two personnel to Iraq and Kuwait.

“In line with the Coalition’s reconfiguration, New Zealand will continue the deployment of two NZDF personnel to the Coalition until 30 June 2023, after which we intend to withdraw our military contribution, while expanding our support to non‑military workstreams,” Defence Minister, Peeni Henare said.

“This package of support reaffirms our shared commitment and determination to continue the fight against violent extremism and address the longer term security and humanitarian challenges faced by the Government and people of Iraq.

“I am proud of the New Zealand Defence Force contribution to the Coalition, and I would like to thank all of those personnel of our Defence Force who have contributed to the international effort to defeat this violent extremist group.

“This includes the initial deployment to Operation Inherent Resolve and associated support roles since 2015, including our major Building Partner Capacity training mission at Camp Taji alongside Australian and other Coalition troops which concluded in April 2020. NZDF personnel have also been employed in a range of roles in the Coalition Headquarters, including planning, logistics, support, intelligence, and legal functions,” he said.

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