Uncertainty over instructions for Dutch troops
26 August 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Dutch troops in Iraq are facing tighter restrictions, it was speculated on Thursday following new orders regulating the use of armed force.
26 August 2004
AMSTERDAM — Dutch troops in Iraq are facing tighter restrictions, it was speculated on Thursday following new orders regulating the use of armed force.
The Defence Ministry has refused to confirm if the instructions have been broadened or restricted, but the latter is said to be more likely. Military union AFMP said the possible restriction in the use of force is "irresponsible".
MPs have also reacted with concern over the change in military instructions because Defence Minister Henk Kamp did not inform them prior to the change. Democrat D66 MP Bert Bakker has demanded answers from Kamp.
The change in instructions comes amid a spate of recent shootings and violent incidents involving Dutch troops stationed in southern Iraq. A 29-year-old military policeman was killed and five soldiers were seriously injured in an attack earlier this month.
There are about 1,300 Dutch troops on peacekeeping duties in Iraq and the new instructions are the result of the transfer of power to Iraqi authorities on 28 June. Two Dutch soldiers have been killed since the start of the mission in the summer of 2003.
Meanwhile, Minister Kamp informed a Japanese delegation on Wednesday that Dutch troops will withdraw from Iraq in March 2005. Three Japanese MPs urged for the Netherlands to extend the mission.
Japanese troops are also operating in the Dutch patrol area, the Iraqi province al-Muthanna. They will remain in the country until the end of 2005. The Japanese are mainly involved in aid projects.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news