October 21, 2014

Danish troops leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014

By Sadaf Shinwari - Wed Jan 30 2013, 10:01 am

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERADenmark government officials on Tuesday announced to end its military presence in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and instead start to focus its efforts to support the civilian population.

Danish foreign minister, Villy Søvndal (Socialistisk Folkeparti) said, the withdrawal of Denmark’s approximate 650 person contribution in southern Afghanistan is necessary if the country is to regain responsibility for its own security.

Søvndal quoted by The Copenhagen Post said, “The Danish Afghanistan Plan contributes to a responsible transition of the full responsibility to the Afghan authorities while at the same time enabling our soldiers to return home from Afghanistan. Over the next two years the task will be to support the Afghan authorities and the Afghan people in safeguarding and building upon the progress already achieved.”

The Afghanistan plan, which was agreed between all political parties except the far-left party Enhedslisten, confirms a promise made by Søvndal last April regarding Denmark’s future engagement in Afghanistan and plan for withdrawal of international forces.

Denmark will support developing civilian institutions in Afghanistan with 530 million kroner in aid annually until 2017, The Copenhagen Post reported.

Following the withdrawal, Denmark will continue to support the development of the Afghan police force by providing Danish police officials and financial assistance, although this will eventually be reduced and replaced by an EU-supported police mission.

In the meantime Defence Minister Nick Hækkerup (Socialdemokraterne) said he recognised that the task of securing Afghanistan would not be completed over the next two years and that there will be a need for international support in Afghanistan for many years to come.

“But after 2014 the responsibility for Afghanistan’s security will lie with the Afghans,” Hækkerup said. “Thus, our role will – to a much greater extent – be to train, advice and support the Afghans.”

Afghanistan has suffered through several decades of conflict and as a result is lacking the necessary institutions and infrastructure that are needed if it is to move toward democracy.

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