Netherlands police mission in Kunduz will not start until 2012

The Netherlands’ mission to train police officers in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz will not start until 2012 rather than this May, ministers told MPs in a briefing on Monday.

Germany is currently training police hopefuls in the region. Some Dutch officials will go to Kunduz this summer to help local police officers who have already gone through the basis training process.
However, no agreement has yet been reached on Dutch wishes to extend the basic training programme from six to eight weeks. This was one of the conditions on which GroenLinks agreed to support the mission.
No military operations
If no agreement with Nato is reached on a formal extension, the Netherlands will organise this itself, the cabinet briefing said.
The Afghan authorities have also assured the Netherlands military staff and police trainers will not be used for offensive military operations.
GroenLinks has yet to comment on the new briefing. But Labour MP Frans Timmermans said his party had no faith in guarantees from the Afghan authorities. Labour voted against the new mission.

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