Van Bommel: Doubts over Kunduz Police Association are justified

29 June 2011

Van Bommel: Doubts over Kunduz Police Association are justified

Harry van BommelSP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel says that he ‘completely understands’ the doubts expressed by the Dutch Police Federation (NPB) over security in the Afghan province of Kunduz. ‘I want the government to tell us how things stand in Kunduz.,’ he says. ‘We have never believed in this mission. And especially now that we are hearing worrisome noises from the first Dutch soldiers posted there, I want the government to say just how unsafe Kunduz is right now.’

150 Dutch police officers are shortly to begin training Afghans in the province of Kunduz. Originally the government chose Kunduz due to the area’s relative safety, but since then doubts have increasingly arisen. For that reason Van Bommel wants to hear updated information before the Dutch police officers travel to the province.

A Taliban spokesman has told Dutch daily newspaper De Volkskrant that the Dutch camp in Kunduz is a target. That this is a serious threat is demonstrated by the fact that foreigners engaged in training have for years been the victims of Taliban attacks. Since March 2009, thirty-six NATO training personnel have lost their lives. In these circumstances the NPB has expressed doubts that sufficient volunteer trainers can be found, and Van Bommel is asking ministers to state what the minimum number of such volunteers would be before the mission can go ahead.

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