Government’s assurance on Kunduz ‘almost laughable’

15 February 2011

Government’s assurance on Kunduz ‘almost laughable’

SP leader Emile Roemer today called the government to account over reports from the Afghan province of Kunduz which state that police officers already stationed there have been involved in fighting the Taliban and that this will continue. The reports appeared in the Dutch national daily De Volkskrant. ‘Kunduz is a war zone,’ said Roemer. ‘Nobody can guarantee that, if they run into a busload of Taliban, the police officers that we are going to train will do no more than issue a parking ticket. And without reliable assurances there is no majority in Parliament in favour of the mission.’

Premier Mark Rutte promised during a debate with Parliament that ‘a solid agreement’ would prevent any police officer trained by the Netherlands being sent to fight against the Taliban. The article in De Volkskrant, however, clearly shows that the Afghan police officers in question don’t think much of The Hague’s idea of reality. “These people work in a war zone’ said Roemer. ‘The bitter reality for these officers in Kunduz is ‘shoot or be shot’. The Netherlands has said only that it will train police officers, but is in fact now training a new military convoy. Everyone recognises this. It’s only Dutch political leaders who are sticking their heads on the sand.”

Roemer stressed that the government’s promise cannot in any way be fulfilled. “This naivety is almost laughable. The government provides us with a guarantee that it cannot make good on. The theory accepted by Parliament doesn’t tally with the practice of Kunduz.”

You are here