The Netherlands is deploying one of its naval vessels, HNLMS Amsterdam, to Ivory Coast. The move comes at the request of the French government.
Security in the West African country has deteriorated dramatically since incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo refused to concede defeat to his rival Alassane Ouattara following last month’s elections. The situation in the country remains volatile.
Dutch Defence Minister Hans Hillen and Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal have written to parliament to explain that the ship may be used for supplies or to evacuate civilians.
Initially, HNLMS Amsterdam was due to return to the Netherlands for Christmas. The ship had been deployed to patrol the Somali coast against piracy. Now ship and crew will not return to the Netherlands before mid-January at the earliest.