Dutch mission troops arrive in Afghanistan

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The first Dutch troops have arrived in the north Afghan province of Kunduz to take part in a police training mission.

The Ministry of Defence says the around 100 army and marine personnel will acclimatise to the hot temperatures first. Then they will make preparations for the mission, taking over from 70 quartermasters, who have been staying at a German army base in the province.

In the next few weeks, other military personnel will join the group in Kunduz for a police training mission. Once the preparations have been completed, they will give cadets practical training outside the base. From January, the Dutch will give an eight-week basic training in the training centre itself.

The accommodation for the Dutch trainers in Kunduz is almost ready. Although troops will have to do without internet, newspapers and television for the time being.

Equipment from the province of Uruzgan, where the Dutch NATO mission ended last August, has been transported to Kunduz. According to a defence spokesperson, the equipment includes armoured Bushmasters.

The Dutch mission only got through parliament with the support of opposition parties D66 and the GreenLeft on the condition that the training was eight weeks long rather than six and particular attention would be paid to human rights issues.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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