Heat and hygiene issues hit Dutch soldiers in Mali

Living conditions at the Dutch military base in Mali have generated a string of complaints from soldiers, particularly the heat, the NRC said on Wednesday.

Soldiers are complaining about the heat, the lack of privacy and hygiene, the AFMP military union told the paper. Some 400 Dutch soldiers are in Mali but their camp has not yet been properly completed and they are still sleeping in tents.

Temperatures of up to 67 Celsius have been recorded in the open canteen area, soldiers are only allowed to shower for four minutes a day and there are few toilets with running water, the NRC said.

‘I have served abroad six times and I have never experienced anything like this,’ one soldier told the NRC. ‘You are basically booted into the desert and told to sort it out for yourself.’

Two other unions, ACOM and VBM, have not had complaints from members, the NRC said.

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