First Dutch soldiers are deployed to Mali to prepare camp for 380 soldiers of Netherlands 0601142


Defence & Security News - Netherlands

Monday, January 6, 2014 09:42 AM
First Dutch soldiers are deployed to Mali to prepare camp for the other 380 soldiers of Netherlands.
The first dispatch of Dutch soldiers to go to Mali will depart from Schiphol on Monday, the Dutch Ministry of Defence announced in a press release on Friday, January 3, 2013. The group consists of 14 soldiers. Their main task is to build a Dutch camp and to ensure that logistics, infrastructure and equipment are ready at the time that the other soldiers arrive in March, the statement said.

In November 2013, Netherlands has announced the sending of combat helicopters and around 380 troops to boost a U.N.-led peacekeeping mission trying to stabilize Mali after a coup and an Islamist incursion. (Archive image)

In total, the Dutch government will send around 380 military officers to Mali to support the UN mission MINUSMA.

The Dutch troops are expected to stay at least until the middle of 2015. The mission will have two major purposes: the training of Mali police and military officers and the collection of intelligence.

The north of Mali was partly taken over by Islamic forces in 2012, after which France started military action in January 2013.

The UN Security Council established MINUSMA last April to support political and development processes in Mali, and to carry out a number of security-related tasks.

In October, United Nations appealed for extra troops for its Mali peacekeeping force, which faces a new surge in Islamist attacks.

Former Dutch Minister of Development Cooperation and UN Special Representative to Mali, Bert Koenders, earlier said that recent attacks in the north of the country had been "an important wake-up call" over security.