Dutch soldiers killed in Mali, parents sue ‘defense’ department

This 5 October 2017 video says about itself:

The Dutch Safety Board published the final report into the fatal accident during a mortar shell exercise which took place in Mali on 6 July 2016. During this accident, two Dutch soldiers were killed and a third Dutch soldier was seriously injured.

A Dutch TV 28 September 2017 video was about that scandal of Dutch soldiers killed in Mali by deficient United States grenades bought by the Dutch government. Also, three soldiers were injured.

Translated from Dutch daily De Volkskrant today:

The parents of two soldiers who died in 2016 at a mortar accident in Mali will next week sue the Ministry of Defense and an unknown number of Defense employees for complicity in killing.

The parents of Henry Hoving (29) and Kevin Roggeveld (24) want the people responsible for the fatal explosion to be found and tried. According to them, the Defense organization promised that for months, but flip-flopped about it in early February.

Until more than a year after their deaths, the relatives of Henry and Kevin believed that they had been killed by a production fault in a grenade, as a result of which the explosive had been activated accidentally. “The military police told that”, says Hoving’s mother. The report of the Dutch Safety Board in September 2017 turned their world upside down. According to the board, Defense bought old ammunition ‘blindly’ and the responsible people never had the material checked. The storage was inadequate, the medical care in Mali did not meet ‘the highest demands of trauma care‘.

Their lawyer Michael Ruperti blames Defense for the fact that the ministry itself does not report and does not want to reveal names of officials who played a crucial role in the run-up to the accident. ‘The report of the Dutch Safety Board mentions many officials who may have acted culpably, such as the Dutch military attaché in Washington, who played a crucial role in the purchase from the Americans of the batch of faulty grenades in 2006, while the sales contract stated that safety could not be guaranteed’, says Ruperti.

He now wants the Public Prosecution Service to investigate who ‘has acted contrary to the Defense regulations, which caused human lives to be jeopardized. That is punishable. If it turns out that former [‘defence’] minister Kamp also acted culpably, then we will sue him as well” says Ruperti. The relatives also want the role of the current Secretary-General Wim Geerts to be investigated. In their view, he has sabotaged research by Defense.

This scandal led to the resignation of Defence Minister Hennis and armed forces commander General Middendorp.

UPDATE: it turns out that even more is wrong with therse grenades, also used by other NATO countries’ armies: here.

Belgian soldiers injured in Malil: here.

Canada’s Liberal government announced Monday that it is deploying up to 250 troops and six military helicopters to the West African country of Mali: here.

6 thoughts on “Dutch soldiers killed in Mali, parents sue ‘defense’ department

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