SP opposes prolongation of controversial mission in Mali

22 December 2016

SP opposes prolongation of controversial mission in Mali

Foto: SP

The SP voted on Thursday against the prolongation of the Dutch participation in the UN mission in Mali. SP Member of Parliament Jasper van Dijk explains: “Because of its controversial goals, the mission in Mali is a mission impossible. The task is on the one hand the restoration of state control and on the other reconciliation between the warring parties. That can’t be done at one and the same time, because UN soldiers will be seen as allies of the Malian government. Opponents of the government, such as the Tuareg in Mali’s north, thus consider the United Nations to be an enemy.”

In recent months, countless experts and military personnel have expressed criticism of this double task. On paper the UN mission’s goals of reconciliation and peacekeeping are commendable.In practice the presence of UN soldiers is leading to fresh violence. “The mission in Mali feels more and more like an Afghanistan scenario: a lengthy presence with no tangible results,” says Van Dijk. “At the same time the mission is costing hundreds of millions of euros a year. The way we look at it, that money could be spent on other things, such as humanitarian aid.”

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