INDEPENDENT NEWS

New Zealand Must Have No Part In Massacre

Published: Thu 22 Nov 2001 12:53 AM
New Zealand Must Have No Part In Massacre
Green Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Keith Locke said today our SAS troops should be pulled out of Afghanistan to stop New Zealand being involved in an imminent massacre of troops in the northern city of Kunduz.
"Kunduz will become another 'Srebrinica', if the Northern Alliance is allowed to wreak vengeance and slaughter the thousands of foreign troops trapped with the Taleban in Kunduz," said Mr Locke.
"A massacre is looming. There will be blood on our hands if we remain part of a US-led intervention force that is giving the green light to a war crime.
"United States Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has said it is preferable the foreigners be killed rather than get safe passage out of the country.
"The Northern Alliance has a practice of killing foreign Islamic troops when they are captured, and its commander Mohammed Daoud says those surrendering at Kunduz will not be treated as prisoners of war.
"New Zealand must not be part of a military campaign that does not adhere to the fundamental principles of the Geneva Convention, to treat captured prisoners humanely, and to achieve military objectives with the minimum casualties.
"When MPs voted to give 'total support' to the US war effort, did they realise they would be supporting a campaign that did not adhere to humanitarian law?
"We ask the government to reconsider and pull out troops out. This a war where atrocities are being committed on all sides, and we should have no part of it."
"Instead we should be letting the United States know, in no uncertain terms, that the Northern Alliance troops they support are required by international law to treat surrendering soldiers as prisoners of war," said Mr Locke.
ENDS

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