The Dutch government on Friday announced it will send soldiers, trainers and support staff to Mali as part of the UN’s peace-keeping mission.
The Dutch will send 70 military analysts to join the unit gathering intelligence from headquarters in the capital Bamako and the northern city of Gao, and a reconnaisance unit of 90 special forces and 60 soldiers with four Apache helicopters to be stationed in Gao.
In addition, 30 police and customs officers will be sent to help with the training of the Malian police force, and a number of civilian experts will be involved in the ‘developing of a system of law, reforming the security sector and protecting the cultural inheritance’.
In total, the Dutch will send around 380 military personnel to Mali. The mission is set to last until the end of 2015.
Earlier on Friday, military trade union AFMP chairman Anne-Marie Snels told Radio 1 news that 1,000 soldiers would be necessary for the mission. She said for every unit in Mali, a further two units in the Netherlands would need to prepare to relieve them.
A large part of Mali was taken over earlier this year by Islamic extremists. French intervention began in mid-January at the request of the Malian government.
Foreign minister Frans Timmermans said at the time: ‘France’s action is urgently needed to stop the fast rise in Islamic terrorism in Mali.’
The Netherlands already made three attempts to participate in official missions to Mali but failed, damaging the country’s reputation.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation