Friday, 3 January 2014 - 12:47
First Dutch soldiers to Mali Monday
The Netherlands is sending soldiers to Mali as of Monday. Soldiers boarding a military aircraft. Boekje-pienter.nl A 14-man unit will leave Schiphol on Monday to prepare the arrival of the contingent that will be sent to reinforce the United Nations force (Minusma) in the troubled West African nation. The Netherlands will be sending 380 soldiers to Mali this year to aid Minusma. The first group of soldiers will build the Dutch encampment and see that all logistics, infrastructure and material is ready when the rest arrived. Trouble sparked in Mali last year when Islamist militants took control over the north of the country. France was the first to send in soldiers and at the height of the crisis, the country had a force of about 4,500 in its former colony. In July last year, France handed over responsibility for security to Minusma.