MPs tour Dutch site at UN Mali mission

The Second Chamber announced yesterday that a number of Parliament Members spent the last four days visiting the Dutch troops in Mali.

The parliamentarians were received in Camp Castor by contingent commander Stephan Kooijman. Dutch soldiers are gathering intelligence for the United Nations at this camp in northeastern Mali. The Members of Parliament, led by committee chairman Han ten Broeke (VVD), spent two days in the camp in Gao and the UN regional office.

In the capital Bamako the parliamentarians spoke with Dutch police officers and military police. They also had meetings with Malian parliamentarians, Prime Minister Moussa Mara and the temporary successor of in Mali. On Friday Koenders (PvdA) was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, succeeding Frans Timmermans who resigned to join the European Commission.

Last week it was announced thatabout the poor condition of the camp where they are staying. The military union AFMP/FNV received dozens of complaints about the heat and a lack of privacy and hygiene. The soldiers still mostly eat and sleep in tents and have limited sanitation.

Since April the Netherlands has been participating n the UN mission in Mali, which is torn by violence. There are about 450 Dutch soldiers and police officers in Mali at this time.