Dutch soldiers on Mali mission stuck in camp due to lack of materials
Some of the new Dutch soldiers who recently joined the UN mission in Mali, can not go out on patrol due to a shortage in materials, AD reports after visiting the soldiers over Christmas. A lack of night vision goggles and so-called jammers, used to disrupt the working of roadside bombs, are a problem in particular, according to the newspaper.
There is also not enough new shard vests, which are lighter and more comfortable than the old ones.
According to the newspaper, these shortages are leading to much frustration under among the soldiers. They would love to get out of the camp and go on patrol, but especially jammers and night vision goggles are crucial for doing so safely. At this stage it is only possible for three of the five groups to go on patrols and surveillance missions.
The new soldiers have been on the Mali mission since the start of December, whe the air brigade took over the mission from the commandos. Commander Ron Sensen told the newspaper that the problem lies in the fact that there are now more soldiers in the camp than when the commandos had the mission. "We therefore have to make choices and can deliver less than what we would really like."
A general told AD that they are working hard to resolve the problem. He hopes that sufficient equipment will be available by mid-January. According to him, the problem is that the Dutch military does not have enough night vision goggles and jammers for each army unit. They have to be shared. "The items therefore now has to be taken from other units and that takes time."