Dutch forces have for several years been training soldiers in Mali, Senegal and Chad in their fight against al-Qaeda militants—without the Dutch parliament being informed.
The covert mission is part of the United States war against terrorism, according to Dutch newspaper AD, which cites documents from the US Congress and the Pentagon.
The Dutch defence ministry argues that the mission requires no parliamentary approval as it is a training mission and not an operation backed by a United Nations resolution.
The Socialist Party and the Christian Union have voiced dismay. The SP points out that the mission is taking place in a war zone, which could threaten Dutch troops, Dutch foreign interests and the Netherlands itself.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide