Netherlands to continue contributing to UN mission in Mali in 2017

This Friday the government decided that the Netherlands will again contribute to MINUSMA, the UN peace mission in Mali, in 2017.

The Dutch mission will comprise around 290 military personnel and it will remain focused primarily on intelligence gathering and analysis. The contribution will consist of a long-range reconnaissance unit, analysts, police officers and civilian personnel.

This year the Netherlands already handed over some of its mission tasks to other countries such as Germany. The attack and transport helicopters that the Netherlands currently provides will be withdrawn in early 2017. The government expects a seamless handover and is in discussions with the UN and other partners to ensure this.

Significant progress has been made in Mali recently, thanks in part to MINUSMA. The agreements set out in the peace deal signed in June 2015 are being implemented. Peace is fragile however and there is still work to be done. Mali is also facing a range of other issues, including terrorism and cross-border crime. It is also a transit country for migrants attempting to reach Europe. Instability in a region on the EU’s southern flank also impacts upon our own security. The government therefore believes it is vital to keep contributing to MINUSMA next year.

The Netherlands has been involved in the UN mission, which focuses on restoring security and stability in Mali, since April 2014. Besides intelligence work, Dutch personnel are also involved in medical evacuations, transport and civilian protection duties.