Afghanistan mission - Dutch to look for new tasks

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The new commander of the Dutch police training mission in the Afghan province of Kunduz says he is going to look for new tasks for the mission.

Speaking on the eve of his departure to Afghanistan, Colonel Nico van der Zee said the new tasks would have to be in line with the mission’s current brief. They would also have to be approved, he added, by parliament in The Hague as well as NATO’s ISAF mission in Afghanistan.

The Dutch defence ministry recently announced it was recalling 10 of its 20 military police instructors in Kunduz because there are not enough Afghan police recruits for them to train.

One of the options the ministry is examining is whether the Dutch instructors could help train non-commissioned police officers. Another option being considered is the possibility of them participating in an existing programme to train Afghan instructors.

In the wake of a recent visit to Kunduz, the opposition D66 democrat party has suggested Dutch personnel could train police officers from different regions or Afghan border police. The latter proposal, however, is likely to run into difficulties as the mission’s mandate bars Dutch instructors from training police who are likely to engage in armed conflicts. Afghan border police are often involved in exchanges of fire.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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