Australia has told 13 special forces’ soldiers, that they face dismissal in relation to a report on alleged unlawful killings in Afghanistan. The statement came from the head of the country’s army on Friday, 27th November 2020.
An independent report published last week said there was evidence that 19 Australian soldiers killed 39 Afghan prisoners who were not armed and civilians.
None of the 19 soldiers’ identities are in the report. The report was by a state judge who the inspector-general of defense appointed. The 19 current and former soldiers are in line for possible prosecution.
Under mounting pressure, Lieutenant General Rick Burr, the head of the Australian army, says that 13 current soldiers have got a notice issued in their names. This could eventually lead to their termination. Burr did not identify any of the 13 soldiers. But he said that they were not part of the 19 current and former soldiers who face possible criminal charges. He further added that the 13 soldiers that face dismissal have two weeks to respond to the notice.
Burr told reporters in Canberra that at this time, 13 individuals have been issued administrative action notices. These notices were in relation to the Afghanistan inquiry.
He added that they are all committed to learning from the inquiry and emerging from this as a stronger, more capable, and effective army.
Australia’s Senior Military Official Apologizes To Afghanistan After The Release Of The Unlawful Killings Report
Australia’s most senior military official apologized to Afghanistan last week after the release of the report of the unlawful killings. The report is into the conduct of special forces personnel in Afghanistan between the years 2005 and 2016. It said that the senior commandos may have forced junior soldiers to kill defenseless captives in order to blood them for future combat. The inquiry examined more than 20000 documents and 25000 images. They also interviewed 423 witnesses under oath.