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Swedish military posts meal after 'hunger' row

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Swedish military posts meal after 'hunger' row
The photo posted by the Swedish military. Photo: Carl-Magnus Svensson/Försvarsmakten
13:43 CEST+02:00
The Swedish Armed Forces have posted a photo online of the latest evening meal eaten by Swedish soldiers in Mali as part of its efforts to disprove claims its staff are going hungry during their UN-led mission.
"Today we were treated to meatloaf with gravy, potatoes, rice and green peas, it was delicious," read a quote from Lieutenant Colonel Carl-Magnus R Svensson, the head of the Mali 01 mission on the Swedish Armed Forces (Försvarsmakten) website.
 
He admitted that there had been "problems" with a new kitchen being used by staff, which had resulted in some recent meals being less "wholesome" than the soldiers would have liked, but insisted that Swedish military personnel were given between 3,500 and 4,000 calories a day.
 
The public relations offensive from the Swedish Armed Forces followed reports in the newspaper Dagens Nyheter that Swedish soldiers were often forced to go to bed hungry.
 
“It's insane that in 2015 we should not be getting enough food. It affects the mood. People get cranky and angry when they can't eat until they get full,” one soldier told the paper.
 
“1,800 calories is perhaps enough for the UN soldiers from Burkina Faso and Bangladesh who are often smaller built, but not for us,” said another Swede.
 
The newspaper tweeted a photo of Thursday's supper alongside another less appetising-looking recent meal, which it said had been snapped by a soldier in Mali.
On Friday the families of some military slammed the response from the Swedish Armed Forces, with one calling the new photo "pure propaganda".
 
"We have not sent down some spoiled kids. We have sent down soldiers," the parent told Dagens Nyheter.
 
"It feels tough as a relative to know that a son or daughter who is a soldier on dangerous missions is not even getting proper food."
 
But Army Tactical Commander and Brigadier General Stefan Andersson was quoted on Försvarsmakten's website saying troops should not expect the same quality of food as in previous operations such as those in Afghanistan.
 
"Then there was a well-functioning logistics operation, with regards to roads and aviation. Here there are different conditions. Where Camp Nobel is today, it was just desert a few months ago."
 
The Local has contacted the Swedish Armed Forces but has not recieved a response.
 
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