SP demands explanation of deployment of provision ship off Ivory Coast

22 December 2010

SP demands explanation of deployment of provision ship off Ivory Coast

SP Members of Parliament Ewout Irrgang and today demanded greater clarity from the government regarding the deployment of a naval provision ship, the Amsterdam, off the Ivory Coast. The government yesterday stated that it had responded to a request from France for maritime support for the safety of nationals of EU member states in the troubled West African country.

The two MPs are not in principle opposed to the deployment of a Dutch naval vessel, but are dissatisfied with the lack of clarity in the government’s statement, as well as discrepancies between the statement and the press release which accompanied it. 'In the press release there was mention of possible security operations while in the government’s statement to Parliament all the was talked about was the possibility of evacuations of citizens of EU member states,’ says Irrgang. ‘If in reality this is about more than evacuations, then it’s possible that the explicit approval of Parliament will be needed.' In general, under Dutch law parliament must give such approval before armed force can be deployed.

Irrgang and Van Bommel also want to know under what mandate the deployment of the Amsterdam falls, and have asked the government to produce an answer by Monday at the latest in order to dispel the uncertainty as quickly as possible.

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