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Kabul residents shared their reactions to a recently released report alleging that war crimes were committed by Australian soldiers serving in Afghanistan, on Friday.
“In these 20 years, Afghans were killed in different names, our blood is not worthless, our elders should lift their voice to end this sleep,” said Najibullah, a local Kabul resident.
“I think that only an apology is not enough, it goes to the Afghan government to follow the law and the foreign organization and to be able to compensate the victims,” said Zabiullah, another local.
“I ask the government to take the issue seriously to not let even one Afghan be killed,” said Wahedullah, a Kabul resident.
On Wednesday, Australian Defence Force Chief General Angus Campbell ‘sincerely and unreservedly’ apologised to the Afghan people on behalf of the Australian Defence Force during a press conference in Canberra.
The public apology follows a scathing report highlighting a culture of ‘blood lust’ among elite Australian troops stationed in the country from 2005 to 2016, with the allegations including 39 unlawful killings of civilians.
The Australian army has recommended that some 19 soldiers be investigated by federal police, as part of the report which was the result of a four-year inquiry into the conduct of Australia’s special forces in Afghanistan.
SOT, Mawlodin Balkhi, Kabul resident (Dari): “It is not acceptable just to have an apology, the people who killed Afghans should be deposited with the courts or they should execute or ensure their family.” *LOOSE TRANSLATION*
SOT, Najibullah, Kabul resident (Pashto): “Last night, Australia declared that they killed innocent Afghans and then apologised. These cases have happened so far but until now they were not made public. In these 20 years, Afghans were killed in different names, our blood is not worthless, our elders should lift their voice to end this sleep.” *LOOSE TRANSLATION*
SOT, Najibullah, Kabul resident (Pashto): “The foreigners came to their favour no one will come to our benefit and it’s over to our losses. No Afghan wants the coming of foreigners to Afghanistan to get involved in the issues of Afghanistan, we must decide and make our own future.” *LOOSE TRANSLATION*
SOT, Zabiullah, Kabul resident (Dari): “This is a positive action that Australia confessed to the first time that they killed Afghans but I think that only an apology is not enough, it goes to the Afghan government to follow the law and the foreign organization and to be able to compensate the victims.” *LOOSE TRANSLATION*
SOT, Khairkhwa, Kabul resident (Dari): “Australia is a lawful country, it’s a good job that they introduce their soldiers to a court of law and it can give morale to the people of Afghanistan. Australia has a sense of humanity to condemn their soldiers, it’s a feeling that Australia is showing and we accept it.” *LOOSE TRANSLATION*
W/S Traffic and streets
SOT, Wahedullah Paktin, Kabul resident (Dari): “It is not acceptable with an apology, this is not one or two person they killed around 40 people. I ask the government to take the issue seriously to not let even one Afghan be killed.” *LOOSE TRANSLATION*
W/S City landscape
SOT, Wahedullah Paktin, Kabul resident (Dari): “American soldiers killed many Afghans in the past and the US government said they would punish their soldiers then didn’t do anything. I am sure that the same case happened in Australia because they do not value a soldier equally with a million of Afghans.” *LOOSE TRANSLATION*
Video ID: 20201120-066
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