After more than four years of investigation into war crimes, a senior Australian military officer has admitted that his army was involved in criminal activities in Afghanistan. The head of the Australian Army, General Angus Campbell, admitted there is strong evidence that his troops stationed in Afghanistan killed at least 39 Afghan civilians illegally.
According to Campbell, I sincerely apologize unconditionally for any wrongdoing by Australian security forces against the Afghan people. The Inspector General of the Australian Security Force was investigating war crimes allegations by the Australian Army in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2016. He said, the next step would be to prosecute those responsible for war crimes. The investigation found that 25 Special Forces soldiers in the Australian Army were involved in the murders of prisoners, farmers and other unarmed civilians.
At the same time there is strong evidence of 23 illegal killings of civilians in which at least 39 Afghan civilians were killed. The war crimes began in 2009 but most people died between 2012 and 2013.
Australian Army Chief General Angus Campbell said after the investigation report came out, “Such alleged behavior disrespected the trust reposed in us by the Afghan people.” The Afghans asked their country to help us. He said that the alleged crime not only raised fingers of doubt on the mission, but Afghan families and communities had to suffer pain and sorrow.
The Australian Security Force says that many such allegations have been investigated by the internal committee in the last four years. The army said in one of its statements that it has investigated 55 cases, in which 336 witnesses have given statements. Australian troops were deployed in Afghanistan in 2002 following a terrorist attack in the US in September 2001. A total of 39,000 Australian soldiers served in Afghanistan, 41 of whom were killed. Australia withdrew most of its troops from Afghanistan in 2013.
The Australian Army Chief General Angus Campbell said after the investigation report, “This kind of behavior has raised the trust of the people of Afghanistan, for which we are deployed here to protect them.” “The alleged crime brings pain and sorrow to Afghan families, communities along with putting the mission in doubt,” he said. The investigation report said that 19 people involved in the murder should be investigated. Campbell said, “I accepted the Inspector General’s investigation report and a comprehensive plan to implement the 143 recommendations is in the works.”