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EU extends Afghanistan mission to 2014

EU extends Afghanistan mission to 2014
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The Afghan National Police – the ANP – can count on EU training until coalition troops withdraw in December 2014 – an extension of 18 months.

Civilian Operations Commander, Hansjörg Haber visited Afghanistan to plan for the extension of the current EU Police Mission mandate – or EUPOL, with an original end date of 31st May 2013.

A key issue is the infiltration of police units by taliban insurgents, who then target their western trainers.

Lt General Mohammed Ayoub Salangi
Kabul Police Chief:
“The enemy knows that the ANP is developing day by day and they are very concerned; that’s why they continue to focus their attacks on the ANP.”

Besides Kabul, EUPOL has training units in the
main provinces, namely in Kunduz where courses are given in cooperation with dutch and german military forces from NATO.

Crime scene investigation is one of the topics taught. Law students are invited to observe; including female ones specifically interested in working in the field of gender violence.

Farkhunda Karimi
Lawyer and program officer
“When I took the decision that I wanted to become a lawyer, definitely there were a lot of challenges to reach this position. But I decided, because our people, especially our females, that one female needs a female lawer, because they can say their problems more easily to a female lawyer.”

The annual EU budget for this mission is around 60 million euros, on top of another 200 million euros on development programs. After 10 years, the EU hopes to leave some sort of legacy.

Hansjörg Haber
EU Civilian Operations Commander
“Sustainablility is important: train the trainer, so that the Afghans can continue the work themselves. Even without us. And concentrate on a few centres outside Kabul for doing the training.”

It’s welcome news for the Afghan government, but it needs to be ready to stand alone.

Isabel da Silva
“The EU civilian operations commander informed the Afghan government that the mission can be extended, but international troops will finish the mission in 2014. The mission will therefore need to be restructured and so he asked the government in Kabul for proposals. The final decision will be taken next summer.”