The Dutch government on 1 November announced the deployment of 380 personnel as part of the UN’s Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission (MINUSMA) in Mali. The Dutch deployment will begin at the end of the year and is currently planned to last until the end of 2015.Dutch Ministry of Defense photo
Most of the Dutch personnel going to Mali will be military and the deployment consists of special forces, unmanned aerial vehicles, and four Apache combat helicopters. The Dutch force will have sensor capabilities and its main mission will be intelligence collection, processing and analysis. Dutch Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert described this as “a robust contribution” which “will be the eyes and ears of the UN.” The Apaches will have a deterrent effect and protect Dutch personnel, she added.
The analysts will be based in Bamako and Gao in southern Mali, while special forces scouts will operate in the field and will have the mandate to eliminate weapons depots and make arrests. Dutch police and civilian personnel will train the Mali police and support the development of the rule of law and security reform.