Free giveaway newspaper De Pers reports that Dutch soldiers in the Afghan province of Uruzgan are afraid to use their guns for fear of legal repercussions.
Wim van den Burg of the military union AFMP says "There is so much uncertainty over their legal position that it leads to hesitation. That can be life-threatening".
Mr Van den Burg says that despite the fact that more than 4,000 people have been killed in Afghanistan since early this year, the cabinet still pretends the Netherlands is involved in a peace mission.
"Dutch soldiers in Afghanistan are treated differently - from a legal perspective - to their US counterparts even if they face the same combat situation".
According to De Pers, the Dutch military criminal code is behind the times.
Labour MP Angelien Eijsink will ask Defence Minister Eimert van Middelkoop for clarification later this week.
"I have also heard reports that soldiers are sometimes afraid to take action. There are loopholes in the law. They need to be fixed fast."
Monday, November 24, 2008
AND WELL THEY SHOULD BE WORRIED
RADIO NETHERLANDS WORLDWIDE Press Review