Friday, January 23, 2015 - 16:47
Threat level in Mali raised after airstrikes: Defence Minister
The threat level around the United Nations base in Gao, Mali has increased and the threat is "significant," according to the Minister of Defence, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert. Many Dutch troops are stationed in the area supporting the multinational mission, Minusma, to restore security and stability in Mali. This week Dutch Apache helicopters carried out an air raid on the rebels in Mali. The raid was in line with the mandate stating the blue helmeted UN troops may use force in order to protect civilians and soldiers. Demonstrations against the UN mission occurred the next day. The base was attacked with rocket fire two weeks ago, the first time an assault like that had taken place since May. The missiles landed outside of the camp causing limited damage. Roughly 450 Dutch soldiers are part of the UN mission, most of them in Gao. They are gathering and analyzing information for the Minusma mission.