“Following a study on their activities in Afghanistan that could constitute “war crimes,” the Australian military reported the expulsion of 13 soldiers. Army commander Rick Bauer said the administration had informed the soldiers of their dismissal. According to sources from Agence France-Presse, the ruling will come into force within two weeks without prejudice to the right of appeal before the military court.
A year-long investigation into the conduct of the Australian military in Afghanistan revealed that at least 39 Afghan civilians and prisoners were “illegally killed” by elite special forces units, especially in arbitrary executions identified as a training ritual for recruits.
The study asked the Australian Federal Police to refer the 19 persons involved in war crimes to demand our millionaire compensation for the victims’ families. The paper also highlighted the urgent need within the Australian military system for a series of changes to be enforced.
Bauer reiterated the right to a fair trial for interested soldiers. “We are all determined to learn from the investigation and bring out the strongest, most efficient, and effective military.” he said, adding that each case will be investigated by the court, and each soldier will be questioned separately.
Australia sent more than 26,000 troops to Afghanistan to fight alongside US and coalition forces against the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and other Islamic groups following the September 11, 2001 attacks. In 2013, Australian combat soldiers left Afghanistan. But there has since arisen a flurry of concerns about the actions of elite special forces units.
The Australian army commander admitted earlier that there was credible evidence that at least 39 Afghan civilians or hostages were ‘illegally killed’ by Australian special forces soldiers. He recommended that these cases be referred to a prosecutor for an investigation into alleged war crimes.
General Angus Campbell said on November 19: “To the Afghan people on behalf of the Australian Defense Forces, I sincerely and without reservation offer my apologies for any wrongdoing committed by Australian soldiers.” Adding that some soldiers have violated the law, fabricated tales, told lies, and killed hundreds of prisoners.
The murders involved at least 25 members of the special forces in 23 events that humiliated their battalion, the whole army, and Australia. He added: “This shameful file includes alleged cases where soldiers forced the recruits to shoot a prisoner to carry out his first kill, in a horrifying practise known as bloodstain of the hands.” Campbell also withheld some of the honour service medals won between 2007 and 2013 by special units serving in Afghanistan.