There is a very real concern in the Netherlands regarding potential terror attacks, particularly from ISIS recruits and jihadists, right-wing extremists, and radical activists, according to Dutch counter-terror office NCTV. Because of this, the terror threat level in the country remains high, with holding at 4 out of a maximum of 5 in the terrorism threat assessment published by the NCTV on Monday.
The Dutch Safety Board is positive about the measures the Ministry of Defense is implementing following a fatal shooting accident in Ossendrecht and a fatal mortar grenade explosion in Mali. Defense is taking recommendations to improve the culture and safety seriously and is "raising the bar for itself", according to the Safety Board, NOS reports.
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.
The parents of two Dutch soldiers killed in a mortar grenade accident in Mali in 2016, are pressing charges of death through negligence against the Defense organization and an unknown number of Defense employees. The parents want those responsible for the deaths of their sons - 29-year-old Henry Hoving and 24-year-old Kevin Roggeveld - to be found and tried, the Volkskrant reports.
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.
The Ministry of Defense's policy is insufficiently focused on safety on all fronts, and there is therefore no guarantee that military tasks can be executed safely, the Van der Veer Committee concluded in its investigation into an accidental grenade explosion that killed two Dutch soldiers during training in Mali. "Improving safety is not rocket science", the committee said adding that this needs urgent attention, NOS reports.
The Ministry of Defense is recalling anti-tank ammunition and smoke grenades from the UN mission in Mali. Inspections done following a damaging report by the Dutch Safety Board about an accidental mortar grenade explosion that killed two Dutch soldiers, showed that these two types of ammunition were also stored at too high temperatures and may not be safe.
Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert (VVD) resigned on Tuesday evening, after hours of debate in the Tweede Kamer about the Dutch Safety Board's report on the deaths of two Dutch soldiers deployed to a UN mission in Mali last year. Henry Hoving and Kevin Roggeveld were killed when a mortar grenade exploded while still in the firing tube during training.
Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert stepped down as Minister of Defense. After hours of debate in the Tweede Kamer on Tuesday evening, she took the political responsibility for negligence in the Defense organization that resulted in the death of two soldiers in Mali last year. Commander of the Armed Forces Tom Middendorp also resigned.
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.
Greetje Groenbroek, the mother of one of two soldiers killed in a mortar grenade explosion in Mali last year, plans to take legal action against the Ministry of Defense. On Thursday the Dutch Safety Board concluded that the grenades used in the UN mission in Mali were unsafe and that the medical treatment available to soldiers there is not in order.
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.
On Tuesday King Willem-Alexander opened the Netherlands' parliamentary year with his traditional Budget Day speech. He talked about the devastation Hurricane Irma left of the Caribbean islands that form part of the Dutch Kingdom, terrorism around the world, the prosecution of those responsible for the MH17 disaster, and making sure that everyone in the Netherlands benefits from the improving economy, among other things.
In January the Netherlands will again deploy F-16 fighter jets to fight in the coalition against terrorist organization ISIS in Syria and Iraq, sources confirmed to the Telegraaf. A total of six jets will be sent, four for fighting and two as reserve, and they will be stationed at the Al-Azraq airbase in Jordan, according to the newspaper.
Two people were killed when an unknown number of gunmen attacked a luxury resort in the African country of Mali on Sunday. Six Dutch were present during the attack, but escaped unharmed, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed, ANP reports.
The holiday resort Le Campement de Kangaba is popular among Western tourists and expats. The one victim that was killed had French-Gabon nationality, the other came from Angola, according to the Volkskrant. Four people were injured, and 36 others could be rescued unharmed, including the six Dutch.
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.
A large number of parliamentarians are hesitating over extending the UN mission in Mali. They are concerned over a lack of air support to the Dutch troops there as there will be no access to fighting helicopters between March 1st and May 1st, the Volkskrant reports.
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.
On Tuesday the International Criminal Court in The Hague sentenced Malian rebel leader Ahman al-Faqi al-Mahdi to nine years in prison for the destruction of cultural heritage in Timbuktu. The rebel leader confessed
The Netherlands made 45 million euros available for cleaning up landmines in former conflict areas, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Wednesday. The Ministry is investing the money in three demining projects operating in a total of 13 countries.
An accidental mortar shell explosion killed two Dutch soldiers operating on behalf of the United Nations mission to Mali on Wednesday, the Dutch cabinet confirmed in a statement. Sergeant 1st Class Henry Hoving, 29, and 24-year-old Corporal Kevin Roggeveld died during target practice.
The Netherlands is launching cultural projects in seven countries as part of the fight against "the ring of instability around Europe", Ministers Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs and Jet Bussemaker of Culture announced in a letter describing the Culture policy for 2017 - 2020.