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.
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.
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 VVD wants the UN peacekeeping force in Mali to also be used to detect human traffickers and to dismantle smuggling route.
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.
Two Dutch soldiers were killed in a crash with a Dutch Apache helicopter in Mali, Chief of Defense Tom Middendorp announced at a press conference in The Hague.
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.
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 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.
The Netherlands is adding three Chinook helicopters to Mali to the Dutch stabilization forces in war torn Mali.
The Netherlands is sending soldiers to Mali as of Monday.