Dutch may send major military mission to join UN efforts in Mali

The Netherlands is considering making a ‘serious military contribution’ to the UN’s peace-keeping mission in Mali, the Volkskrant reported on Saturday.

The Volkskrant, which bases its claims on military and political sources, says the cabinet is considering sending commandos, intelligence officers and Apache helicopters. The plan will be discussed in the cabinet in two weeks and would involve deploying 400 Dutch soldiers in total.

The paper says ‘easy jobs’ such as training local Malian troops, has already been allocated to other countries. This has prompted the cabinet to look at the ‘more dangerous’ option.

Two other Dutch attempts to participate in official missions to Mali failed and have damaged the country’s reputation, the paper says.

UN peacekeeping efforts in Mali are being led by former Dutch government minister Bert Koenders.