The biggest deployment currently underway is the one in Mali in West Africa. The Netherlands armed forces are also taking part in several other major and minor missions throughout the world.
The Dutch contingent in Mali is mainly involved in conducting reconnaissance and gathering intelligence, serving, as it were, as the 'eyes and ears' of the mission. Click on the links to read about the missions in Mali.
Iraq (military trainers)
By deploying military trainers, the Netherlands, in concert with a number of other countries led by the United States, is helping to break the fighting power of the ISIS terrorist organisation. Click on the links to read about the mission in Iraq.
Afghanistan (Resolute Support)
Since 2002, Dutch military personnel have assisted in bringing security to Afghanistan. They were mainly active in the province of Uruzgan, later followed by a deployment to Kunduz province. Today 100 Dutch military personnel take part in the NATO mission Resolute Support, aimed at further developing the security apparatus, the army and the police in Afghanistan. The Netherlands will be contributing to this mission until the end of 2021.
Somalia (Atalanta, VPD)
Click on the links to read about the counterpiracy missions around the Horn of Africa near to Somalia.
Defence is contributing to the enhanced Forward Presence, the reinforced NATO military presence in Lithuania. In 2017, 270 Dutch military personnel will be posted to a multinational battlegroup. The battalion that the Netherlands is part of is under German command and is stationed in Rukla. NATO decided to send extra military personnel to the eastern European border in response to the alarming actions by Russia. It is one of the ‘reassurance measures’ in place for the eastern European Allies.
South Sudan (UNMISS)
The Netherlands is currently contributing 6 persons to UNMISS: 6 staff officers for the UNMISS headquarters in Juba. The Netherlands will cease its participation in UNMISS on 1 September 2019.
The United Nations Missions in South Sudan is protecting the local population. The Netherlands has been a part of the mission since 2011, the year in which South Sudan became an independent country. At the end of 2013, a violent conflict broke out in South Sudan between 2 population groups. Hundreds of thousands of people fled their homes. Despite the peace agreement signed in 2015, the situation in the country remains tense.
The Netherlands also contributes to development cooperation and humanitarian help for South Sudan.
Bahrein - Combined Maritime Forces
A total of 25 countries take part in the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) mission. CMF operates in the waters around the Arabian Peninsula. CMF:
- combats extremism and terrorism;
- combats piracy, smuggling and human trafficking;
- improves maritime security and stability in the region in cooperation with local and other partners.
Gaza Strip - EU BAM and USSC
The European Union Border Assistance Mission (EU BAM) is a European Union mission that assists in border control at the Rafah border-crossing point in the Gaza Strip.
In the same area, the Netherlands also contributes to the United States Security Coordinator (USSC) mission, which is based in Ramallah on the West Bank. The programme seeks to improve the operation of the security services and the Presidential Guard of the Palestinian Authority.
Israel, Syria (UNDOF)
The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF). The UNDOF is a peace operation on the Golan Heights between Israel and Syria. The Netherlands has deployed 2 military personnel to this mission.
Kosovo - EULEX
EULEX is a European Union mission which promotes stability in Kosovo by supporting the government apparatus, the police force, the judiciary and the customs service. A total of 2,000 personnel from various EU countries are taking part in the mission. The Netherlands has some 15 military personnel, most of them from the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, stationed in Kosovo for EULEX. Civilian police personnel and specialists from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice and Security are also part of the Dutch contribution.
Lebanon, Syria and Israel - UNTSO
The United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO) monitors whether the agreed demarcation lines between Lebanon, Syria and Israel are being observed. UNTSO operates in the same area as UNDOF (United Nations Disengagement Observer Force) and, in southern Lebanon, as UNIFIL (United Nations International Force In Lebanon). The Netherlands supplies 12 military personnel for participation in this mission.
Middle-East (FSE Mirage)
The Netherlands Defence organisation has a strategic position in the Middle East in the form of the Forward Support Element Mirage. The four-strong detachment provides, among other services, (logistic) support to marines security teams assigned to the counter-piracy mission off the Somali coast.
The Netherlands will deploy one member of military personnel to take part in the EU Integrated Border Assistance Mission Libya (EUBAM). This is an EU civilian mission, which will operate from the neighbouring country of Tunisia. EUBAM Libya supports the Libyan authorities in strengthening the law enforcement chain, border control and in counteracting (organised) crime and terrorism.
Through collaboration with the EU navy mission EUNAVFOR MED (Operation Sophia), EUBAM will also contribute to reinforcing the Libyan coastguard. In addition, EUBAM Libya is working with the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). This UN mission is tasked with supporting and strengthening the country, after it had been severely weakened by the ravages of the recent civil war.
Mali (EUTM and UNMAS)
A Dutch soldier has been assigned to the European Union Training Mission for Mali. The objective of the mission is to help train and reform Malian security forces.
The Netherlands is contributing 1 soldier to the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS). This UN umbrella organisation works in Mali and focuses on mine countermeasures across the world.
The Netherlands is also taking part in the European Union Training Mission (EUTM) in Somalia. Dutch personnel assist in the training programme for Somali security troops, in order to strengthen the country’s new government (the Somali National Government). Next to the Netherlands, there are 13 other European countries taking part in the mission. Dutch personnel operate from the Ugandan capital city of Kampala and the Bihanga Training Camp in western Uganda.