The government plans to put an end to the Netherlands' contribution to the the UN military mission in Mali, sources told RTL Nieuws. There are currently 250 Dutch soldiers in the African country.
When popular fitness app Strava released its Global Heatmap, showing the activities of a billion cyclists and joggers around the world, late last year, the company likely didn't realize that it may also be revealing the location or patrol routes of military or strategic bases. For example, the Global Heatmap shows popular routes walked around a camp in Gao in Mali, where Dutch soldiers are on mission, AD reports.
Further changes to the new healthcare law proposal by Dutch health minister Edith Schippers (VVD) drew doubts and opposition after Parliament heard the amended plan on Wednesday.
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.
Dutch troops have fired on Tuareg rebels from the air in northern Mali. The airstrike was in response to rebels firing on peacekeepers with heavy weapons, the UN mission in Mali said in an official statement. The Dutch Ministry of Defense confirmed that two Apache helicopters were used.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minster Liliane Ploumen (Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation) visited Mali in the past two days. Accompanied by Chief of Defense General Tom Middendorp, the visited the Dutch troops in the United Nations mission Munumsa (Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali).
The Dutch soldiers in Mali are suffering more from the heat because the camp where they have been staying for months, is not finished yet.
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.