AzG abandons Afghan aid efforts
28 July 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Citing safety concerns, international aid group Doctors Without Borders has reportedly decided to abandon its efforts in Afghanistan following the deaths last month of five its workers, including Dutchman Pim Kwint.
28 July 2004
AMSTERDAM — Citing safety concerns, international aid group Doctors Without Borders has reportedly decided to abandon its efforts in Afghanistan following the deaths last month of five its workers, including Dutchman Pim Kwint.
The organisation, known in the Netherlands as Artsen zonder Grenzen (AzG), said it is dissatisfied with how the Afghan government is handling the murder investigation, RTL News reported. A press conference is scheduled for later on Wednesday.
AzG leaders are also concerned workers could be attacked again. RTL said the organisation had regretfully chosen to leave Afghanistan after 24 years of humanitarian work in the central Asian nation.
Taleban rebels are suspected to have carried out the attack on 2 June in which three Europeans — including Dutchman Kwint — and two Afghan nationals were killed.
They were killed in an ambush on a remote road in the province of Badghis when their car was attacked with guns and a hand grenade. The attack was claimed by followers of the ousted Taleban regime.
Immediately after the murders, AzG recalled its staff to the capital Kabul while it conducted a security analysis. It later temporarily resumed its most important activities as the investigation continued.
But AzG now asserts that the present security situation makes it "impossible to offer help as an independent organisation". It accused the US of taking over humanitarian aid for political and military purposes.
The US attacked Afghanistan after the 11 September terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, overthrowing the Taleban regime with the help of the Northern Alliance rebel movement.
The US maintains a military presence in the nation as Operation Enduring Freedom continues. Sporadic clashes still occur between al-Qaeda operatives and Taleban rebels as US forces continue the war against terror and efforts to possibly capture terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.
Prior to the June murders, about 80 foreign volunteers and 1,400 Afghans worked for AzG. It provides medical and humanitarian aid to victims of war, conflict and disasters.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news