For the first time ever, Dutch soldiers are pressing charges against their employer. On Saturday five members of the Corps Commandos announced that they are pressing charges against the Ministry of Defense over a fatal accident in which Sander Klap was shot and killed during a training exercise in Ossendrecht last year. "If nothing changes, he died for nothing", one of the five soldiers said to newspaper AD on Tuesday.
Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert of Defense will face the hardest parliamentary debate of her career on Tuesday afternoon. The Tweede Kamer will debate with her the conclusions of the Dutch Safety Board's investigation into a mortar grenade exploding during training in Mali last year, killing two Dutch soldiers. With parliamentarians being almost unanamously critical, the question is not only whether Hennis will survive this debate as Defense Minister, but also whether she will still have a position in the new Dutch government.
Next week Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert of Defense will face the Tweede Kamer in a debate about a faulty grenade that cost the lives of two Dutch soldiers, and seriously injured a third, in Mali last year.
The Ministry of Defense "falls seriously short" in ensuring the safety of Dutch soldiers deployed to the UN mission in Mali, the Dutch Safety Board concluded in its investigation into an accident in which two Dutch soldiers were killed and another was injured when a mortar grenade exploded during a training exercise last year. Both the safety of the grenade and the medical care were not in order, ANP reports.
A mortar grenade that killed two Dutch soldiers during a training exercise in Mali last year was one of a thousand grenades that were unsafe - something the Ministry of Defense was aware of, Jean Debie, chairman of defense union VBM said to RTL Nieuws. If Defense followed its own safety procedures, 29-year-old Henry Hoving and 24-year-old Kevin Roggeveld would still be alive, Debie said. A third soldier sustained serious injuries.
Rob Verkerk, Commander of the Dutch Armed Forces, and Minister Ronald Plasterk of Home Affairs called critical statements by Sint Maarten Prime Minister William Marlin about Dutch soldiers on the island "complete nonsense". In an interview with NRC, Marlin said that Dutch soldiers did nothing to stop looting on the island after Hurricane Irma.
Sint Maarten's prime minister William Marlin is critical of Dutch soldiers' failure to maintain public order on the island in the direct aftermath of Hurricane Irma, he said in an interview with NRC. "There was looting, the marines watched and did nothing", Marlin said.
Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert wants to keep Dutch soldiers in Lithuania for longer, she said during a visit to the soldiers there. Officially the mission ends at the end of this year, but she thinks the Dutch aid will be needed for longer, RTL Nieuws reports.
"We will stay here for as long as die situation requires it, but we will also look at what other allies can do", Hennis said, according to the broadcaster. "Huge investments are being made here."
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.
Dutch soldiers on a United Nations mission in Mali got a visit from Sinterklaas and two Zwarte Piets in their traditional blackface makeup on Monday, according to a photo the Ministry of Defense posted on Twitter.
The wreks of cruisers Hr. Ms. De Royter and Hr. Ms. Java and a large part of Hr. Ms Kortenaer - serving as the war graves of over 900 Dutch soldiers and some 250 Indonesian soldiers off the coast of Indonesia - disappeared for unknown reason, Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis Plasschaert wrote to Dutch parliament, RTL Nieuws reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte paid an unannounced visit to Dutch soldiers in Baghdad on Tuesday. He visited several training sites, where Dutch soldiers are training Iraqi special forces as part of the Dutch contribution to the international coalition against terrorist organization Islamic State
Dozens of Dutch military officers are mourning the death of Marjorie Howard, who died at the age of 94 on July 30th. For over 40 years Howard provided a home away from home for Dutch officers attending the Command and General Staff College in her home town of Leavenworth, Kansas, local newspaper Leavenworth Times reports.
Between 15 and 20 Dutch soldiers are actively fighting in Syria and Iraq, according to annual figures for 2015 from military intelligence service MIVD.
CDA leader Sybrand Buma's idea of sending troops into Syria and creating safe havens for refugees is getting some support from ruling party VVD, though other parties are less than enthusiastic.
CDA faction leader Sybrand Buma thinks that the Netherlands should be intervening in Syria too, instead of only in Iraq. He wants to deploy Dutch troops to Syria to protect refugees and bring order. He also thinks that the establishment of safe havens in Syria, Iraq and Libya, where soldiers under the banner of the United Nations or the European Union can protect refugees a viable option.
Dutchman Sjaak Rijke, who has been a captive of terrorist group Al-Qaida since November 2011, has been freed by commandos and other special forces of the French army in Mali this morning, the French Ministry of Defense announced this morning.
The Dutch Somali who committed a suicide attack on a hotel in Mogadishu last week, was also involved in previous attacks, NU reports. According to articles from Somali media, Ismail Muse Ahmed Guled was previously involved in an attempted attack on another hotel in the city as well as in the attack in Djibouti in 2014.
The three Dutch soldiers who were recalled from Afghanistan on suspicion of "a possible offense" by Defense last August, are guilty of "embezzlement in association". This was confirmed by the Public Prosecutor in Arnhem.
The Ministry of Defense announced a social media alarm after several Dutch soldiers were threatened on LinkedIn and Facebook.
A complete Dutch military unit is combining with a German army unit to come under German command for the first time in history. The 'orange-white' unit will be used by NATO as a quickly-deployable unit all over the globe.
The biggest group of the Dutch soldiers part of the UN mission bound for Mali are departing on Tuesday.
The first unit of Dutch soldiers that will serve as part of the UN stabilization force in Mali (Minusma) left Schiphol yesterday.